Top cheese takes the biscuit at producer awards

Top cheese takes the biscuit at producer awards

NZLN - Wellington Producers - imageAs part of the hugely popular Visa Wellington On a Plate culinary festival, Wellington region’s best artisanal producers were named at the 2014 MiNDFOOD Producer Awards.  There were more than 100 entries, up from 2013, but the Supreme Winner was Wairarapa cheesemakers Kingsmeade Cheese.  They also won the Best Sustainable Producer award and one of their cheeses featured in the Best Burger/Beer Match for Burger Wellington.

The other big winners were winemakers Matahiwi Estate (Runner up Producer of the Year), jam experts Te Horo Foods (Best Established Producer), and tied for Best New Producer were charcuterie champions Big Bad Wolf and specialist baker Clareville Bakery.

Head Judge and MiNDFOOD editor-in-chief Michael McHugh said “the quality of the products these businesses are producing are world class.  Wellington has become a real hub of artisanal producers with booming boutique beverage and specialty food sectors.  There is a growing number of inner-city urban producers and younger people embracing the master culinary crafts including butchery and baking.”

Wine making and brewing could easily be added to that list.  Matahiwi Estate is a Wairarapa vineyard which produces its wine according to the criteria of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ).  It was founded by Alastair Scott who, according to on-line prediction market iPredict, currently has an 89% of being the next Member of Parliament for Wairarapa.

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