Much thought and skill in beef and lamb dishes

2014 Beef and Lamb New Zealand ambassadors (from left) Mikey Newlands, Scott Kennedy, Darren...
2014 Beef and Lamb New Zealand ambassadors (from left) Mikey Newlands, Scott Kennedy, Darren Wright, Ben Batterbury and Ryan Tattersall. Photos supplied.
Ben Batterbury's winning beef creation.
Ben Batterbury's winning beef creation.

Five courses of beef or lamb make for a long lunch, but when they are cooked by Beef and Lamb ambassadors, they are intricate, innovative and interesting.

Food media from around the country were last week invited to the celebratory lunch at the Pah Homestead in Auckland to celebrate the announcement of this year's Beef and Lamb ambassadors.

Selected from the 164 restaurants nationwide that received Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards, the five new ambassadors - Ben Batterbury (True South Dining Room at the Rees Hotel, Queenstown), Scott Kennedy (Nero Restaurant in Palmerston North), Mikey Newlands (Bracu in Auckland), Ryan Tattersall (Cobar Restaurant in Wellington) and Darren Wright (Chillingworth Road in Christchurch) - each cooked one of their winning entries for the lunch.

Restaurants that enter the annual awards have beef and lamb dishes on their menus that are assessed anonymously between September and December.

The ambassadors, spread geographically through the country, are selected from chefs who have shown extra creativity or been rated particularly highly by the assessors, Megan Claxton, of Beef and Lamb New Zealand, said.

The white-plated morsels carefully positioned with smears of puree, globules of dressing, an artful drizzle of jus or flavoured olive oil, slivers of straw mushrooms, the minutest of micro greens, or a crisply dehydrated cabbage leaf, are a far cry from a homely tagine, or simple steak or stir fry.

But then probably far more thought has gone into each dish, not to mention time and skill.

Mr Batterbury said he was inspired by a Reuben sandwich, an American corned beef sandwich on rye bread with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing and wanted to turn it into a restaurant dish.

He corned his own beef brisket and pickled his own red cabbage sauerkraut and gherkins.

His small, thick, pink slices of slightly salty but meltingly tender corned beef with little crisp triangles of dark rye bread and a cheese wafer, globules of Russian dressing with horseradish, and a foamy cheese sauce were complemented by the mild sharpness of the gherkins and sauerkraut served on a board.

He recommends a light, fruity red with the dish.

''Classic flavours work but you can rejig them and the forms they are in and the texture - that's what my job is. It's fun,'' he said.

Raised and trained in Bristol, UK, he has been head chef at True South since 2009, and this is his second time as a Beef and Lamb ambassador.

Throughout the year the ambassadors will help promote New Zealand beef and lamb both here and overseas.

 


Award recipients

Otago and Southland restaurants to receive 2014 Beef and Lamb excellence awards. -

• Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant, Dunedin

• Captains Restaurant, Queenstown

• Carrick Winery & Restaurant, Central Otago

• Ironic Cafe & Bar, Dunedin

• Jervois Steakhouse, Queenstown

• Lombardi Restaurant, Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown

• Millhouse Restaurant, Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

• No 7 Balmac, Dunedin

• Northstar Restaurant & Bar, Oamaru

• Ombrellos, Dunedin

• Pier 19 Restaurant, Queenstown

• Pier 24 Restaurant & Bar, Hotel St Clair, Dunedin

• Rata, Queenstown

• Roaring Megs Restaurant, Queenstown

• The Moorings Restaurant & Bar, Cromwell

• The Landing, Wanaka

• The True South Dining Room, The Rees Hotel, Queenstown

• Redcliff Cafe, Te Anau

• Emberz Restaurant, Ascot Park Hotel, Invercargill

• Level One Restaurant, Kelvin Hotel, Invercargill

• Paddington Arms, Invercargill


 

 

Food media from around the country were last week invited to the celebratory lunch at the Pah Homestead in Auckland to celebrate the announcement of this year's Beef and Lamb ambassadors.

Selected from the 164 restaurants nationwide that received Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards, the five new ambassadors - Ben Batterbury (True South Dining Room at the Rees Hotel, Queenstown), Scott Kennedy (Nero Restaurant in Palmerston North), Mikey Newlands (Bracu in Auckland), Ryan Tattersall (Cobar Restaurant in Wellington) and Darren Wright (Chillingworth Road in Christchurch) - each cooked one of their winning entries for the lunch.

Restaurants that enter the annual awards have beef and lamb dishes on their menus that are assessed anonymously between September and December.

The ambassadors, spread geographically through the country, are selected from chefs who have shown extra creativity or been rated particularly highly by the assessors, Megan Claxton, of Beef and Lamb New Zealand, said.

The white-plated morsels carefully positioned with smears of puree, globules of dressing, an artful drizzle of jus or flavoured olive oil, slivers of straw mushrooms, the minutest of micro greens, or a crisply dehydrated cabbage leaf, are a far cry from a homely tagine, or simple steak or stir fry.

But then probably far more thought has gone into each dish, not to mention time and skill.

Mr Batterbury said he was inspired by a Reuben sandwich, an American corned beef sandwich on rye bread with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing and wanted to turn it into a restaurant dish.

He corned his own beef brisket and pickled his own red cabbage sauerkraut and gherkins.

His small, thick, pink slices of slightly salty but meltingly tender corned beef with little crisp triangles of dark rye bread and a cheese wafer, globules of Russian dressing with horseradish, and a foamy cheese sauce were complemented by the mild sharpness of the gherkins and sauerkraut served on a board.

He recommends a light, fruity red with the dish.

''Classic flavours work but you can rejig them and the forms they are in and the texture - that's what my job is. It's fun,'' he said.

Raised and trained in Bristol, UK, he has been head chef at True South since 2009, and this is his second time as a Beef and Lamb ambassador.

Throughout the year the ambassadors will help promote New Zealand beef and lamb both here and overseas.

 


Award recipients

Otago and Southland restaurants to receive 2014 Beef and Lamb excellence awards. -

• Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant, Dunedin

• Captains Restaurant, Queenstown

• Carrick Winery & Restaurant, Central Otago

• Ironic Cafe & Bar, Dunedin

• Jervois Steakhouse, Queenstown

• Lombardi Restaurant, Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown

• Millhouse Restaurant, Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

• No 7 Balmac, Dunedin

• Northstar Restaurant & Bar, Oamaru

• Ombrellos, Dunedin

• Pier 19 Restaurant, Queenstown

• Pier 24 Restaurant & Bar, Hotel St Clair, Dunedin

• Rata, Queenstown

• Roaring Megs Restaurant, Queenstown

• The Moorings Restaurant & Bar, Cromwell

• The Landing, Wanaka

• The True South Dining Room, The Rees Hotel, Queenstown

• Redcliff Cafe, Te Anau

• Emberz Restaurant, Ascot Park Hotel, Invercargill

• Level One Restaurant, Kelvin Hotel, Invercargill

• Paddington Arms, Invercargill


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