Simplicity may be the key to being New Zealand’s best food product, according to the chief judge of the New Zealand Food Awards.
The judging panel, led by celebrated chef and food writer Ray McVinnie, gathered at the Albany campus last week to judge entries.
The awards, in association with Massey University, will identify the best food products, with categories from dairy products and convenience to food business. Winning products will be able to display the Food Awards mark, to differentiate the product on shelves as being of nationally-recognised quality.
More than 90 products and innovations were put forward for consideration.
Mr McVinnie says the judging team was impressed with the quality of entries. “The products were really interesting,” he says. “Many were of a very high standard, even in their simplicity. It shows a product doesn’t have to be complicated to be good.
“In the end, it’s about food. While it is the manufacturing industry, it is food that people eat, not just a commodity and many of the entrants really embraced that.”
Mr McVinnie says the judging event was a pleasure, and the team worked well together. The judging team included Cuisine Magazine’s deputy editor Fiona Smith, Farro Foods director Janene Draper, Restaurant Association trustee Merv Ah Chee, Massey University food scientist Dr John Grigor, the Heart Foundation’s David Monro and KPMG’s Mark Kippenberger.
The awards will culminate with a gala dinner at Auckland’s Langham Hotel on October 28, where category finalists will be showcased and winners announced, including those in special categories and the supreme winner.
The New Zealand Food Awards are made possible by the support of principal sponsor Massey University, and supporting sponsors KPMG, the Riddet Institute, the Heart Foundation, AsureQuality, O-I New Zealand, and the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology.