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The awards recognise the skill, expertise and talent of New Zealand's greatest chefs in cooking beef and lamb.
More than 230 restaurants applied for the awards and 172 nationwide were selected after more than 100 independent culinary-trained assessors were sent out to ''mystery shop'' the restaurants and return their verdicts on whether the dishes had met the standard to be labelled as a leader of beef and lamb cuisine.
Five Dunedin restaurants made the cut: McGavins Restaurant and Bar at Mercure Dunedin Leisure Lodge, Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant, Ombrellos Kitchen and Bar, Vault 21 and Prohibition Smoke House.
Oamaru's Cucina and T-Bar Restaurant at Brydone Hotel also made the cut alongside Invercargill's Paddington Arms.
The others are dotted throughout Otago and Southland, including eight in Queenstown.
Shaun Clouston, executive chef at Logan Brown in Wellington, says the beef and lamb dishes he has tried by other Kiwi chefs are phenomenal - ''verses what I've had elsewhere, they are unbelievably good''.
''I think what really helps us as chefs is access to fantastic product, this is where it all begins. It's difficult to group all chefs into the same basket but we are all able to draw from the world's best product.''
Arrowtown: Millhouse Restaurant, Kobe Cuisine Millbrook Resort Bannockburn:Carrick Winery Restaurant
Clyde: Olivers Restaurant
Dunedin: McGavins Restaurant and Bar, Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant, Ombrellos Kitchen and Bar, Vault 21, Prohibition Smoke House
Oamaru: Cucina and T-Bar Restaurant
Ophir: Pitches Store
Queenstown: Captains Restaurant, Prime Lakefront Restaurant & Bar, MacKenzies Restaurant, the Heritage Hotel, True South Dining Room, The Rees Hotel, Wakatipu Grill, Hilton Hotel, Muskets and Moonshine, Roaring Megs, Observatory Restaurant, Millennium Hotel
Wanaka: Bistro Gentil, Wanaka Gourmet Kitchen, Cardrona Hotel
Catlins :The Whistling Frog
Invercargill: Paddington Arms
Te Anau: Redcliff Restaurant and Bar, The Fat Duck
Waikawa: Two Fat Stags.