Excellence Awards News

04 August 2017
For Immediate Release

Chefs and Farmers: Together boosting unique NZ food story

Chefs passionate about working with New Zealand beef and lamb are playing their part in showcasing New Zealand’s unique food story, through the nation’s longest running culinary award programme.  

2018 marks 22 years of the Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards which have been integral in fostering innovation and creativity among chefs with New Zealand beef and lamb.

In 2017, 158 restaurants were named Award holders and with entries open this month there is hope to further grow that number this year, alongside the rise of successful, cutting edge restaurants. 

If restaurants meet the standard once accessed, they are awarded a gold plate which symbolises a high level of cookery, creativity and execution of their beef and lamb cuisine.

In addition to the Award itself, each year five chefs who excel during the assessment period are selected as Ambassador Chefs by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, joining the ranks of eight lifetime Platinum Ambassador Chefs who together will work to pass on their skills to the wider industry. 

Darren Wright, Head Chef/Owner of Chillingworth Road in Christchurch and Beef and Lamb Platinum Ambassador Chef, has been involved with the Awards for many years and has seen first-hand how crucial they are to the industry.

“Ultimately the Awards set a bench mark that we as chefs should be aiming for. It gives us something to strive to amongst our peers and is particularly exciting for those of us who are passionate about working with the product, it forces us all to raise the bar of the dishes we’re creating,” says Darren.

The Awards have provided opportunities to strengthen the relationships between the primary producers and restaurants at the coal face, both with the common goal of showcasing top quality New Zealand beef and lamb.  

Shaun Clouston, Head Chef at Logan Brown in Wellington and Beef and Lamb Ambassador Chef, says being involved with the Awards has helped him in telling the pasture to plate story that is becoming more and more important.

“As well as wanting to constantly raise the bar in terms of the innovation and creativity of the beef and lamb dishes we’re cooking, being involved with the Awards has given me a deeper understanding of the product and where it comes from. 

“At Logan Brown we’re very passionate about championing our producers, so much so that we have their faces on the wall in the restaurant. I think passing this story on to our customers is so important and is something they are wanting to hear about now more than ever – we have an incredible product and we certainly celebrate that with every dish that goes out the door,” says Shaun.

Applications are open for the 2018 Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards and close on August 31st. This will be followed by a rigorous assessment process carried out by culinary trained assessors who will scour the country and assess on all elements of the beef and lamb dishes.

Recipients of the 2018 Award will be announced in early December. 


For more information please contact:

Chloe Willcox, Marketing Manager, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Inc
Ph: 09 489 7119 ext 204 / 021 024 89109

Additional information

New Zealand is renowned for its world class beef and lamb by Kiwis and visitors alike. Our intention is to further extend our remarkable New Zealand story by acknowledging the great work our chefs do to contribute to this, by directing them into high quality restaurants to experience innovative meals that will inspire and excite.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand are inviting all restaurants nationwide to apply for the 2018 Excellence Awards, an opportunity for all establishments to have their innovation, creativity and overall flair of their beef and lamb dish assessed.

Restaurants are anonymously assessed, with assessors looking at key areas of the dish to ensure it meets the high standard expected. The four key areas are; presentation and composition; taste; preparation and cooking; and overall appeal.

Recipients of the 2018 Award will be announced in early December.

To apply for the 2018 Awards, find out more information, or see the current directory of 2017 Award holders go to nzexcellenceawards.co.nz



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