Top chefs in Wild Food Challenge

BRIDGET JONES
Last updated 05:00 24/07/2012
Wild Food
MICHAEL GREIG

WILD WONDERS: Kermadec Fine's entry into the Wild Food Challenge features wild red deer, toasted fern and curd, doppelbock 'soil', cranberries, sorrel, earth baked urenika.

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The race is on among New Zealand restaurants to create the ultimate wild food dish - and hungry Aucklanders will help to pick a winner.

The Montieth's Beer and Wild Food Challenge pits bars, cafes and restaurants against one another in an attempt to come up with the perfect, left-of-centre dish, which must be perfectly matched with a beer or cider.

While the winner will be picked by an expert judging panel, the public can taste and vote for their favourites.

The People's Choice finalist will line up against six regional expert judging finalists, with all seven competing in a live cook-off at The Foodstore in Auckland's Viaduct.

And Aucklanders have more than a few choices to pick from, including a grilled venison, truffle baklava and onion confit from Agents & Merchants; FISH Restaurant's Cider House Blues (blue cod, mussels and clams); or the Wild Red Deer from Kermadec Fine.

Currently the Horny Stag dish from Howick's Basalt restaurant is the top Auckland dish on the national leader board, followed by Trio of Hare from the Waterfront Cafe and the Rangitoto Rabbit Goes Wild Gastro from Takapuna's The Elephant Wrestler.

Thirty local restaurants are taking part in the challenge, which will be filmed for a television series hosted by Mark Southon and Wylie Dean.   

For a full list of participating restaurants visit the challenge website.

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