Beef + Lamb New Zealand Inc are one step closer to naming the country’s most tender and tasty steak for 2018 as the semi-finalists of the PGG Wrightson Steak of Origin Competition are announced today.
Of the competition’s 266 entries, 53 are being sent through to the semi-finals after a series of extensive scientific tests – conducted by Carne Technologies, Hamilton – based on tenderness, % cooking loss in weight, marbling, colour, water binding capacity and pH.
The semi-final round of judging is being held on Saturday May 26 at Auckland University of Technology, where 16 of New Zealand’s top chefs and foodies will form a judging panel to determine the top three steaks from each of the competition’s eight classes to go through to the final. Judging criteria of the cooked steak includes; aroma, taste/flavour, tenderness, juiciness and texture.
The PGG Wrightson Steak Of Origin Grand Final is held in the PGG Wrightson tent at New Zealand Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek on Wednesday June 13.
Competition Head Judge, Graham Hawkes, owner and Executive Chef of the renowned Paddington Arms in Invercargill has been involved in the competition for 15 years.
“This competition is the pinnacle for any beef producer, it sets the benchmark for quality produce, helping guide chefs on where their ingredients come from.
“It’s also about ensuring New Zealanders are receiving the highest quality produce. This year, we have expanded the judging panel after searching for New Zealand’s Ultimate Steak Connoisseur. We were flooded with applications and will be announcing the successful candidate this week – we believe they will be a fantastic addition to our panel,” says Hawkes.
The competition is open to all New Zealand beef farmers, retailers, wholesalers and foodservice suppliers. Farmer classes are open to New Zealand beef farmers and include six classes for the different breeds – European, British Angus, British Hereford, British Other, Crossbreed & Other and Lifestyle. This year there have been 138 entries into the farmer classes. The brand competition has had 128 entries, this competition includes two classes -Retail and Wholesale & Foodservice.
The competition is supported by the following processing plants; AFFCO, Alliance Group, Cabernet Foods, Harris Meats Cheviot, Land Meat NZ, Progressive Meats, Taylor Preston and Auckland Meat Processors / Wilson Hellaby.