Saint Clair Vineyard Kitchen puts Marlborough on a plate

Marlborough produce is taking centre stage in the latest dish at the Saint Clair Vineyard Kitchen.

Put together for the Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards 2016 challenge, head chef Keith Gregory says the idea behind his dish is to source as much local produce as possible.

While the aim of the competition is to make Silver Fern Farms’ red meat the hero of the dish, Keith has come up with more than enough Marlborough produce to accompany their venison.

His final product is a pan roasted venison short loin, served medium rare with Marlborough cherries, Pinoli pine nut glaze, cold smoked potatoes, a cauliflower puree, local baby carrots and beetroot, finished with a green micro herb garnish.

“It’s keeping it very Marlborough, deer historically have been hunted in Marlborough, and the pine nuts are from up the Awatere Valley, the cherries are from local orchards, and the micro greens we grow ourselves at the Vineyard Kitchen, Keith says.

Silver Fern Farms marketing general manager Sharon Angus says dishes will be judged on how well they showcase the red meat, but also on presentation, preparation and cooking, taste and texture, and creativity.

Keith keeps things creative, using an old wine barrel from the Saint Clair Family Estate winery, turning it into a smoker to smoke the potatoes for his dish.

He describes the dish as having smoky, fruity, earthy flavours, and it is matched with the Saint Clair Pioneer Block 15 Strip Block Pinot Noir 2012.

The dish, which is one of 73 in the competition, will be judged by two mystery judges at the Vineyard Kitchen before November 6.

Twelve finalists who will be selected and announced on November 20, will be visited by judge Kerry Tyack and co-judge Tony Adcock before Christmas to re-judge the dishes.

Winners of each category, which include best beef, best lamb, best venison, best regional and best metropolitan, as well as the supreme winner will be announced at an event in Auckland in February next year.

This dish is available on the Vineyard Kitchen menu now until at least November 6.

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