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After a month of tasting by mystery judges, the finalists for each category of the Eat.Taste.Central regional menu (E.T.C.) have been confirmed today (Thursday 3 November 2022).

The finalists from the Regional Menu categories will now have their dish judged by the final judging panel over the next few days. The overall category winners and inaugural Premium Plate award will be announced on Tuesday 15 November at a Tourism Central Otago operator event and E.T.C. prizegiving, to be held at the Cloudy Bay Shed near Cromwell.

“For the first time, we sent out mystery judges to select the Regional Menu finalists, giving each venue equal opportunity to progress to the final judging panel,” E.T.C. Campaign Lead Anthony Longman said.

“Our mystery judges helped shortlist the finalists, who will now prepare their dishes again for the judging panel. They will be looking at the quality of the dish, use of local produce and regional story alongside the EAT principles of Execution, Appearance and Taste to select a winner. The finalists are spread across the entire district of Central Otago, which is testament to the quality of the food offering and experiences to be had here.”


The finalists for the regional menu categories are:


Main Meal

  • Royalburn Lamb Tartare – The Cloudy Bay Shed, Cromwell
  • Slow Braised Beef Rib – Mt Difficulty Cellar Door & Restaurant, Bannockburn
  • Reverse Seared Provenance Lamb Rump & Gnocchi – Centennial Court, Alexandra
  • Provenance Lamb Loin – Pitches Store, Ophir
  • Fare Game Venison Osso Bucco – Carrick Winery & Restaurant, Bannockburn.



  • Duck a la Orange Pie – Royal Hotel, Naseby
  • Beef Cheek & Blue Cheese Pie – Pitches Store, Ophir
  • Rabbit Pithivier – Carrick Winery & Restaurant
  • Chicken Pie on a Plate –  Packing Shed Café, Earnscleugh.


Burger & Sandwich

  • Cardrona Baa burger – Burger Afloat, Cromwell
  • Beetroot & Feta Burger – Dunstan House Café, Clyde
  • Putting the Spring into Burgers – Prospectors Gourmet Burgers, Cromwell
  • The Central Smashburger – Buffalos American Food Co, Cromwell.


The finalists for the E.T.C People and Business Awards are:


Front of House:

  • Jane Morton – Waipiata Country Hotel, Waipiata
  • Paul Greaves – Prospectors Gourmet Burgers, Cromwell
  • Paula Moore – Buffalos American Food Co, Cromwell
  • Gillian Wilson – Carrick Winery & Restaurant, Bannockburn.


Young Talent:

  • Sarah MacMillian – Waipiata Country Hotel, Waipiata
  • Sam Farr – Alexandra District Club, Alexandra
  • Ashleigh Cleland – Carrick Winery & Restaurant, Bannockburn.


Chef / Cook

  • Susan Goodwin – Pitches Store, Ophir
  • Gwen Harvie – Carrick Winery & Restaurant, Bannockburn
  • Harry Bonning-Snook – The Cloudy Bay Shed, Cromwell
  • Alex Moore – Buffalos American Food Co., Cromwell
  • Sam Farr – Alexandra District Club, Alexandra
  • Tracey Greaves – Prospectors Gourmet Burgers, Cromwell.



  • Coffee and Burger Afloat, Cromwell
  • Carrick Winery & Restaurant, Bannockburn
  • Waipiata Country Hotel, Waipiata.


The Premium Plates selected from Regional Menu submissions are:


Premium Plates

  • Carrick Winery & Restaurant – Rabbit Pithivier
  • The Cloudy Bay Shed – Lamb Tartare
  • Mt Difficulty Cellar Door & Restaurant – Slow Braised Beef Rib
  • Royal Hotel – Provenance Butterfly Lamb Steak.

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