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Several Southern entries are among the finalists in this year's Beef + Lamb New Zealand Steak of Origin competition.
Judging will be held this week at Auckland's University of Technology with the winners announced at an awards dinner in Auckland on July 20.
Ceri Lewis (Otautau) and Dougal Stringer (Gore) are both finalists in best of British breed (Angus), Laurie Paterson (Gore) is a finalist in best of British breed (Hereford), and Anita Erskine (Tuatapere) is a finalist in best of British breed (other) with a Shorthorn entry.
Bowmont Meats, in Invercargill, is in the final of best of brand-retail with a Hereford Prime entry.
Steaks being judged were in the top 20% of all entries, as determined by Carne Technologies, based on tenderness, percentage cooking loss in weight, marbling, colour, water binding capacity and pH. A panel of judges would then assess aroma, taste/flavour, tenderness, juiciness and texture.
Chef judge Ben Bayly, from Baduzzi and The Grove, was expecting the quality of steaks to be ''extremely high''.
Open to all beef farmers, the retailers, wholesalers and foodservice suppliers, the competition awards a grand champion along with the top three finalists from each of the eight classes - six farmer classes and two brand.