What is Plate of Origin?

Plate of Origin is a national competition showcasing top New Zealand produce and ingredients. Restaurants from around New Zealand compete for the title of Plate of Origin by working in pairs to create a dish that wows the judges. The competition brings together regions, chefs and ideas.

How Does it Work?

Seven Manawatu restaurants are allocated a region at random and are then required to find the best restaurant in that region to partner with. Together, the two chefs must design and create a main dish showcasing both regions’ finest products. Two key or hero ingredients, one each specific to each region, must be included in the dish.

What is a Hero Ingredient?

A hero ingredient can be anything that the region is known for. This year’s hero ingredients are:

Forbes and Angus Cameron’s beef from Pohangina Valley and Clevedon Coast Oysters from Auckland

Celeriac from Levin and duck from Quack ‘a’ Duck, Cambridge

Beef from Rangitatau Farm, Whanganui, and King Scampi from Sanford, Freemans Bay

Quinoa from Kiwi Quinoa, Taihape, and macadamia nuts from eMacadamia, New Plymouth

Whanganui Ranui Angus eye fillet and Wairarapa Hereford braised brisket

Feilding’s DownUnder Kamahi Bush honey, Limestone Hills burgundy truffles from Waipara Valley, and fromage blanc from Kaikoura Cheese 

Aged beef fillet from Eketahuna Country Meats and manuka-smoked rub from Hammer Head Foods

Who Are the Participating Restaurants and Chefs?

Visit http://plateoforigin.co.nz/ to read about the participating restaurants and chefs.

What’s In It for My Taste Buds?

Put simply, new experiences. Give your taste buds something to remember as well as Instagram-worthy photos to impress your friends who missed out.

How Can I Take Part?

The dishes are available on the Manawatu restaurants’ menus from 3 to 17 March as part of New Zealand AgriFood Week 2018.

You can secure your table at competing Manawatu restaurants by visiting http://plateoforigin.co.nz/book-now/.

Why Is Plate of Origin Part of New Zealand AgriFood Week?

New Zealand AgriFood Week is dedicated to celebrating, showcasing and developing primary food production. Plate of Origin is about finding out what some of our best food brains do with some of our best food and giving everyone a chance to taste it.

Agrifood is so much more than just milk and meat, and how restaurants use New Zealand produce and ingredients is an important part of the industry.

Diners are increasingly wanting to know where their food comes from and Plate of Origin helps foodies build their knowledge of Kiwi produce and ingredients.

But New Zealand is a Small Country, Surely Our Food is the Same?

Aotearoa is long and narrow, providing a wide variety of growing conditions influenced by sunlight hours, rainfall, proximity to the sea, soil type and altitude.

Plate of Origin contestant Alex Davies says you can taste the difference between vegetables from Canterbury and Auckland.

“Auckland has longer seasons and they have things around for longer. Because Canterbury seasons are shorter and faster, and we don’t have as much warmth, we think Canterbury flavours are bolder, especially with root vegetables because they respond to the frost.”

How Do I Find Out Who Won?

The winning restaurants and chefs will be featured in the May 2018 edition of Cuisine.

Who Are The Judges?

Cuisine editor and part owner Kelli Brett and UCOL chef lecturer Mark Smith.

How Long Has Plate of Origin Been Running For?

The annual competition began in 2016 to showcase New Zealand premium products. The 2017 and 2016 winners, Amayjen and Aberdeen respectively, are both competing again this year so the competition will be fierce.