Local produce a recipe for success
The regionals in the South Island are always special. This is probably because the South Island seems to have carved out its own culinary identity more than any other region. With meals that are robust and hearty, winter warming and bold. And meals that include game and line caught fish are plentiful. So it was great to have NZ cyclist and Timaru local, Marc Ryan to help Michael Lee and myself judge the bounty that was delivered in this third regional heat.
Just like the North Island heats, a balanced meal for a family of four had to be cooked and presented in 50 minutes. Not forgetting that the total cost of ingredients could not exceed $20.
First up were two schools from Outram, both showcasing strong confident flavours with a pork ragu and satay chicken kebabs. Either of these meals would be perfect to come home to on a cold winters evening. But other teams were cooking up a storm too, and I have to admit to being a fan of the delicate chicken and vegetable lasagne cooked by the boys from Southland High.
As the day progressed so did the variety and complexity of the meals. Some standouts included a perfectly cooked pumpkin risotto, kofta’s from both Dunedin and Waitati. A surprise from Barton Rural school with their totally delicious seafood chowder. All of these great meals left us with one question, that being; “how on earth can we pick only one team from the South Island?”