The White House is Wellington On A Plate

01:09, Aug 05 2014
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FIRST WINNER: Paul Hoather of The White House.

Creating sensational local dishes with plenty of local flavour has helped the White House restaurant take out top honours in Wellington on a Plate.

The Wellington on a Plate Award was introduced to the culinary festival this year to recognise the high quality menus that chefs across the region were putting together for the Dine Wellington programme.

Judged by food writers Anna Tait-Jamieson and David Burton, the White House's menu was lauded for its confidence and consistency through all three courses.

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LOCAL FLAVOUR: Victor's rabbit pie and Otaki carrots.

The spiced coconut caramel which complemented the restaurant's signature Waikanae crab cake was particularly noteworthy, Mr Burton said.

"The White House stays at the top of their game by constantly evolving their repertoire."

Chef Paul Hoather said the strong and varied menu came from close working relationships with many local food suppliers.

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"We like dealing with small family businesses. For example, we've had a long term relationship with our rabbit supplier for 16 years."

The challenge of Wellington on a Plate was to produce excellent food that was budget-friendly to the general public, Mr Hoather said.

"We started planning our dishes way back in January. I wanted to focus on incorporating things like South Coast crayfish but using the tails instead to bring it into budget. It's about achieving that but still making it sensational."

It was a huge surprise to come away with the win against such stiff competition, Mr Hoather said.

"Considering that we are going into our 20th year of business this year, to win something like this is absolutely wonderful."

The White House was named a finalist alongside the menus from Matterhorn, Martin Bosley's and Logan Brown.

Picking the shortlist had been a challenge in itself, but Ms Tait-Jamieson said the White House's menu was well-deserving of the award.

Wellingtonians play a big part in the high quality of Wellington's hospitality scene, she said.

"I think the city in general has a well developed palate. Wellingtonians travel a lot and are interested in food; the customers are demanding and that keeps standards really high."

The Dominion Post