Diners devoured and noted, judges tasted and criticized, and the results of the Visa Wellington On a Plate Festival Awards 2021 have arrived.
More than 400 festival dishes, burgers and cocktails were reviewed online by thousands of diners throughout the month-long culinary festival, which has been extended for another two weeks due to the lockdown.
The five top-rated dishes, burgers and cocktails were each judged by Wellington connoisseurs and culinary figures for a week, as they tasted their way to a winner for each category. The finalists were judged on presentation, taste and use, and quality of ingredients.
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The best dish of the festival went to Boulcott Street Bistro for their ‘Crayfish Marseille’, Cook Strait Yellow Brick Road crayfish poached in butter with sautÃ©ed house greens, a harissa saffron tomato sauce and NZ baby shoots.
The hamburger category was won by Egmont Street Eatery, whose ‘Kingston Tastee’ paired with Garage Project’s Golden Path beer was a winning combination of an open-air mashed pork and beef patty with mango chutney and of pork fat, blackened pepper mayo from Penray Gardens, house cheese and spiced tobacco onions in a homemade milk bun.
CGR Merchant and Co won the cocktail category for its ‘Old Fashioned Donut’, a dark Doughboy donut topped with white chocolate and coconut cream, served with an old-fashioned chocolate and coconut infused rum filling. .
Wellington On a Plate program manager Beth Brash said that despite the temporary disruption of the lockdown, people have come out to take advantage of the Wellington Festival offers.
“Our city has such a rich culinary history and we loved watching those stories unfold.”
Wellington chef and Festival Awards judge Max Gordy said what really set the winning restaurants apart was their ability to source incredible local produce and make it shine, which not only makes it delicious, but intriguing as well. . âIt was a real treat for the taste buds. “
The winners were announced Sunday evening at the Felix Wellington Hospitality Awards.