Top award for plum preserves

Gus Hayden has won a top award for his Black Doris plum preserves. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Gus Hayden has won a top award for his Black Doris plum preserves. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Wanaka business Augustines of Central has won a top award at the Outstanding New Zealand Food Producer Awards.

At the awards last night, Augustines, which is the baby of Dunedin-raised Wanaka chef Gus Hayden, won the Farro Earth Champion award for its Black Doris plums in pinot noir syrup.

It had already won gold medals for the plums and its Central apricot and date chutney.

The judges loved the simplicity of ingredients and described Black Doris plums in pinot noir syrup as having “a lovely story of terroir’’.

Hayden, who has been preserving fruit the old-fashioned way for more than six years, has always worked full-time, and Augustines is a side-line, but he plans next year to start working for himself, allowing more time to work on the preserving business.

He plans to develop more product lines, such as fruit soft drinks, and further develop the chutneys he has just started making.

Augustines was one of four Wanaka businesses to win medals in this year’s awards.

The Outstanding Food Producer Supreme Award went to Wairarapa’s Homegrown Farm Fresh Meats.

Other champion award winners were:

Seafood New Zealand water champion, Tora Collective, live paua; Emerson’s Dairy champion, ViaVio mascarpone; Label & Litho drink champion, Raglan Food Co, natural coconut kefir drinking yoghurt.

Special award

NZ Life & Leisure Spirit of New Zealand award, Tora Collective, live paua; outstanding sustainability, Pathways, Hamlin Road Farm range; FMCG Business outstanding new product, loaf salted caramel brownie balls; Free-From champion, Little ’Lato, mango lassi dairy-free gelato; Covid outstanding new business, Bake ‘n Break.

People’s Choice

Coast people’s choice outstanding farmers’ market, Matakana Village Farmers’ Market; Coast people’s choice favourite product, Oliff Farm premium pasture eggs.

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