Time is up and all the dishes are in. The Friendship Week Restaurant Challenge 2016 has seen some exciting dishes and with the last of the submissions coming in yesterday it is finally time to announce the winners.
The challenge was a New Zealand High Commission initiative put together to commemorate the signing of the friendship treaty between Samoa and NZ.
Participating restaurants were given from the 5th to the 15th of August to submit their friendship week dishes with yesterday being the last day.
Dishes were judged on taste, presentation and the ability to fuse both NZ and Samoan ingredients into to a kitchen masterpiece.
Along with a judging panel, the restaurants placed each of the submissions on their menu as the week’s special providing diners with score cards to score their experience.
According to an interview with Lupe Kapisi last week who was stunned by the creativity of all the mouthwatering submissions; she said that this year’s challenge saw more participants than previous years.
“This year we’ve probably had more participants compared to previous years,” she said.
“We’ve had 15 participants all together and so far the competition has been really really close; we have been really impressed with the taste and the presentation of the food. “Just the amount of effort that has gone into creating these dishes has really impressed us all.”
Mrs. Kapisi continued on to share what majority of the chefs decided to work with. “There is no specific ratio in regards to the Samoan and New Zealand ingredient fuse,” she said.
“A lot of the restaurants do go for a New Zealand Protein such as lamb, muscles and they ad Samoan ingredients.
“We’ve had a lot of Salmon dishes so far this year; sea food in general has been the frequent dish choice by a lot of the chefs.” According to Mrs. Kapisi, the winners of the different categories will be announced tomorrow at the NZ High Commission residence in Letava.