Restaurants step up to the plate
Taranaki diners have plenty of choice when it comes to eating the best beef and lamb.
And to prove the point, six of the region's restaurants have been awarded the 2014 Beef and Lamb Excellence Award.
New Plymouth winners were Arborio, The Orangery, Juliana's and Danger at Okurukuru.
In Hawera, Black and White and II Chefs received the gold rimmed plate, which is given to winners of the award.
Arborio Restaurant's head chef Steve Rasmussen was jubilant he and his team had been recognised.
Arborio had entered the awards last year and was visited by anonymous judges between September and November before Mr Rasmussen received news the restaurant had won last week.
"This is the one award people hold in high regard," he said.
"All the boys here have worked extremely hard, it might not have even been me cooking when the judge came in," he said.
The awards, which have been going for 17 years, were designed to acknowledge a high level of beef and lamb cuisine at New Zealand restaurants.
Recipients were judged on their individual merits rather than being compared with each other.
Mr Rasmussen said the two dishes Arborio was judged on used export quality lamb rack and local black angus eye fillet.
Some 164 restaurants nationwide were awarded the golden plate, which, according to Beef and Lamb New Zealand, is given only to restaurants whose beef and lamb cuisine reached the highest standard of New Zealand fine dining.
New Plymouth restaurant Andre's L'Escargot, was given the award for its 15th consecutive year in 2012. The restaurant closed last year after its owner Andre Teissonniere died in June.
Taranaki Daily News