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Monteith's Beer and Wild Food Challenge

When:

Sun 13 Jul 2008–Sun 3 Aug 2008, 5:00pm

Where: All over the Auckland Region, Auckland Central

Listed by: KellyG

Winter taste-buds throughout the country are set for a tantalising test with the return of the annual Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge in July and August.

Now in its 11th year, the Challenge is the longest running beer and food matching competition in the country with 2008 bringing bigger and bolder matches to the table.

The ultimate challenge for participating restaurants is to create a culinary sensation using a range of wild food. Wild food is defined as anything that is not usually raised on a farm. The most successful dishes are a combination of rare ingredients, unusual cooking methods and exotic presentation.

In the past all recipes have been matched to one of the Monteith’s family of six ‘Classic’ craft brews, including Monteith’s Original, Radler, Golden, Black, Celtic and Pilsner.

But with Monteith’s New Zealand Lager winning best lager at the 2007 International Beer Challenge, the new brew has been introduced as an exciting new beer match option for 2008. A one-off exclusive prize is to be awarded for the best beer and food match using Monteith’s New Zealand Lager with local ingredients.

Any restaurant, café, pub or bar stocking the full range of Monteith’s beers can enter in either the informal or formal categories; the formal category creating a two-course meal with beer matches and the informal category creating a single course with a beer match.

The Challenge is continuing to grow with the addition of an 11th region in its 11th year. The Central
Plateau has secured its own regional competition after particularly strong interest was expressed from local eateries.

The Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge kicks off in the North Island on 13 July and finishes on 3 August. It begins in the South Island a week later, with the event running from 20 July until 10 August.

The event is growing at an astonishing rate according to Marisa Govorko, Monteith’s brand manager.

“The Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge has proven a tasty morsel for New Zealand diners. The fact we have expanded the competition from eight regions in 2006 to eleven regions in 2008 shows how much interest and support we’re getting from everyday New Zealanders. And the addition of Monteith’s New Zealand Lager into the mix offers an exciting new element to the competition,” she says.

Challenge convenor of judges, Kerry Tyack, believes that New Zealanders have become used to the concept of beer and food matching and are more appreciative of its compatibility with food from the wild.

“Wild food is not about eating unappetising things. The core idea of the Challenge is to show New Zealanders that good beer and good food combined can provide a much enhanced dining experience. Matched with the right Monteith’s beer, wild food delivers a new world of delicious flavours.”

Eateries in Queenstown, Dunedin, Christchurch, the West Coast of the South island, Marlborough / Nelson, Wellington, Tauranga, Hamilton, the Central Plateau, Coromandel / Thames and Auckland have entered the competition.

The national winner is judged from the 11 regional formal category finalists. Last year’s national winner was Mount Maunganui’s Mount Bistro restaurant.

Mount Bistro’s two-plate entry featured skewered crayfish, swordfish, scallop and prawns flambéed with horopito lime vodka and matched with Monteith’s Radler for the entrée, and duck confit with purple kumara, cranberry, crystal quail, and watercress with dragon’s breath consommé and venison tataki matched with Monteith’s Celtic for the main.

Entrants from the Auckland region:
Acacia Restaurant
Deve Brasserie
Flax Restaurant
Imperial Bar and Restaurant
Malt Bar and Restaurant
Reservoir Bar and Bistro
The Abbey Bar and Kitchen
The Bluestone Room
The Grange Ponsonby
Traffic Bar and Kitchen
Two Fat Cows
Wairoa Bar and Restaurant (Clevedon Hotel)
Basalt
The Copper Room
The Drake
The Horse and Trap
The Pioneer
Villager
Yoyu Brew

Restaurants to book near Monteith's Beer and Wild Food Challenge