Cuisine Artisan Awards 2017: Line's Knaekbrod reigns supreme
A Danish cracker made with recycled grains has been named top seed in 2017's Cuisine Artisan Awards.
Line's Knaekbrod has taken the Supreme Winner spot with its Ol Knaekbrod, a crackerbread made with spent grains left over from the beer-making process at craft brewery Hallertau. (Line is pronounced "lee-ner", while knaekbrod is along the lines of "k-neck-bro-the".)
The cracker beat out close to 150 other products to top the field of 10 winners announced by Cuisine. The awards, now in their ninth year, give food lovers an opportunity to discover some of the best artisan food products New Zealand has to offer.
This year's judging panel featured three of New Zealand's top chefs – Michael Meredith from Merediths, Sid Sahrawat from Sidart and Simon Wright from The French Café. The trio joined the head judge, Cuisine senior food writer Fiona Smith, along with Cuisine editor Kelli Brett, Cuisine deputy editor Alice Neville, Cuisine senior food writer Ginny Grant, Farro Fresh general manager Michal Haines and Marisco Vineyards sales and marketing manager Siobhan Wilson.
The judges remarked that Line Hart, the Auckland-based Dane behind Line's Knaekbrod, had "just got it right", commending the excellent flavour and texture of her product as well as the no-waste concept behind it.
"What I really love is that when I pick up the buckets of spent grain, it always smells slightly different depending on what has been brewing that week," Hart says of her rye-based crackers, which also contain Hallertau No 3 Copper Tart Red Ale and a range of seeds. "Consequently each bach tastes slightly different."
Runner-up to the Supreme Winner was Christchurch butchery Euro Gourmet Meats' coppa, an Italian dry-cured pork product made from free-farmed pigs from Cressy Farm, which the butchery's owners also run.
The other products in the top 10 ranged from a hugely popular Wellington cookie, to a traditional Eastern European fermented drink made in Christchurch, to a pesto-style paste packed with Waiheke Island wild herbs.
A special packaging award was given to Gathered Game, a Southland wild venison salami maker, for its innovative way of telling the story behind its products – a code on each packet directs consumers to a website that reveals when, where and by whom the deer used in the salami was shot.
Head judge Fiona Smith said the awards were always a highlight of her year. "Judging with New Zealand's best palates has really emphasised the quality of artisan food and beverage in this country. So many entries tasted great, and the winning products showcase the passion and care behind them."
Cuisine editor Kelli Brett added, "The quality and innovation demonstrated within these artisan products proves that we have much to celebrate and promote when it comes to New Zealand flavour."
CUISINE ARTISAN AWARDS 2017: THE WINNERS
- Supreme Winner: Line's Knaekbrod Ol Knaekbrod – Spent Grain with Hallertau #3 Copper Tart Red Ale
- Runner-up: Euro Gourmet Meats Coppa
- Bay Of Islands Smokehouse Smoked Mullet
- Grey Lynn Butchers Free-farmed Ham
- Leeds Street Bakery Salted Caramel Cookie
- Jerome's Baba Loaf
- Miann Sea Salted Caramel Bonbon
- The Kvas Company Brod Original Kvas Brown
- Waiheke Herbs Waiheke Herb Spread
- Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery Movie Night
- Packaging award: Gathered Game New Zealand Wild Venison Salami