Lambs brains and snails in Wild Food enty
Wellington has been confirmed as the country's brainiest city - and chef Ash Krynen is keen to keep it that way.
His entry in this year's Monteith's Wild Food Challenge is the Zombie Burger, featuring a combo of lambs' brains and snails.
The Cambridge Hotel chef said inspiration came as a nod to the capital's obsession with zombies - a fad since overtaken by vampires in the bloody wake of Wellington directors Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement's new fang flick What We Do in the Shadows.
"We had picked zombies as the next teen craze, but unfortunately that vampire movie trumped it. Nevertheless, our burger is the last word in undead culinary experience. It was a no-brainer," Krynen said.
His entry follows confirmation from Statistics New Zealand this week that Wellington Central remains New Zealand's best-educated electorate.
Krynen's flesh-eater's delight features parmesan and herb-crusted lambs' brains served in a black-dyed ciabatta bun with chipotle coleslaw, a tangy lime and plum chutney, and a trail of garlic-fried snails.
It was devised to be washed down with a Monteith's Barrel Aged Porter, which "works well with the textures and flavours of the dish, including the creaminess of the brains".
Now in its 17th year, the Wild Food Challenge fires up on Tuesday and brings wild dishes to restaurants and bars around the country for all of July.
More than 20 Wellington and Wairarapa eateries are taking part. Nationwide, 123 outlets are vying for a main prize of $15,000.
Don't fancy feasting on grey matter? Try these less cerebral entries:
The Kraken Cheese at The General Practitioner, Wellington city: Crayfish and snapper mac‘n'cheese with steamed mussels and clams, flash-fried whitebait, rouille and gruyere crouton, matched with Monteith's Original Ale.
Wild Goose Chase at Boomrock, Ohariu Valley: Canadian goose, paua wonton, foraged coastal spinach and nasturtium with seaweed caviar, parsnip puree and fried quail egg, matched with Monteith's Doppelbock.
The Dominion Post