Foodies are in for a tasty treat this month with the launch of Paddock to Plate NZ celebrating the best of local food.

“Paddock to Plate 2020 provides a month long showcase of Palmerston North city and Manawatū eateries who are each serving up flavour packed, creative competition dishes featuring three or more delectable products from across the wider Manawatū – a true showcase of the best in New Zealand food,” says Linda Stewart, Chief Executive of the Central Economic Development Agency.

Part of the well-known Plate of Origin, Paddock to Plate is a brand-new culinary competition that has purposely been opened up to include both day and night-time dining, and is open to cafés, restaurants and bars – showcasing Manawatū’s vibrant and growing food scene, while also appealing to a broader audience.

Formal and casual dining categories have been introduced, and dishes are not just limited to evening meals – which, combined with the competition running for an entire month, means diners can try numerous dishes and vote for their favourites online.

“Hospitality is one of the key sectors significantly impacted by COVID-19, and we encourage all Manawatū foodies to get out and about this September and take part in this exciting culinary competition. We all need to get behind our local businesses, and this is a great way to support them.” Ms Stewart elaborates.

“Additionally, our latest research into our domestic visitor market shows that while 11% of potential visitors are looking for gourmet cuisine, 60% seek cafés, 57% seek restaurants and nearly 40% are in search of a hearty burger. We’re really seeing these trends echoed in the types of food and menus both here in Manawatū and across Aotearoa.”

With the dishes all featuring at least three local ingredients, September is a showcase of Manawatū’s best in food. Local cheese makers Cartwheel Creamery, locally crafted ales, Kowhai Grove Ostrich, Kiwi Quinoa, and Emoyeni microgreens are just some of the quality ingredients on offer.

The competition also included a live, Plate-up event that was held on 2 August at UCOL and judged by a panel of five qualified level 5 and 6 chefs on the NZ Chefs Culinary Arts Guidelines, focusing on flavors, use of product, taste, presentation and more. The UCOL Chef’s who took part included Chief Judge Ken Thompson, Head Judge Mark Smith, Judge Ian Drew, Judge Roz Towey and Judge Nigel Sadler.

Winners of both the official Paddock to Plate ‘Plate-Up’ and the ‘People’s Choice Awards’ will be announced at the beginning of October.

Paddock to Plate NZ is proudly bought to you by the New Zealand Chefs Association and supported by the Central Economic Development Agency and UCOL.

Find out more about the Paddock to Plate NZ competition by visiting PaddockToPlateNZ.co.nz, or follow Paddock to Plate on Facebook and @PlateofOrigin on Instagram for regular competition updates.

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