Creative vegetarian dishes win!

Colour, inspiration, style and customer-appeal featured in the winning dishes in the 2013 New Zealand Vegetarian Dish Challenge which is designed to encourage chefs and caterers to be creative with vegetables.

Judge Andy Gibb said all the finalists’ recipes were outstanding. “There was great thinking outside the box with seasonal vegetables. Good technical skills and some nice earthy flavours showed excellent creativity and innovation.  The recipes would work in any commercial kitchen,” he said.

Davey Howarth from Wellington’s Cobar Restaurant won the Dinner/Fine Dining category with his Carrot ravioli with spinach, vegetable roulade, beetroot infused tofu, carrot puree and potato and parsley crisps.

Marc Soper from Wellington’s Wellesley Boutique Hotel won the Lunch category with his Twice-baked roast pumpkin and cheddar soufflé with winter vegetable salad and walnut soil.

Jeanette Brough from the Arrowtown House Boutique Hotel won the Breakfast category with her Vegan trio of breakfast delights.

The competition attracted 200 vegetarian dish entries from some of the country’s top chefs and caterers.  It was judged by Glenn Fulcher (NZ Manager for City & Guilds of London), Chef Andy Gibb (Chef Tutor at Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore), Adrian Brett-Chinnery (Group Development Chef, Tanoa Hotel Group, Fiji) and Michael Newlands (Head Chef, Bracu Restaurant, Auckland). Food Service Consultant, Pip Duncan, said plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular and important to many people. “Increasingly, chefs and caterers are being asked for vegetarian options for lunches, pass rounds, snacks and meals, so this challenge was a good chance for them to put forward their best vegetarian meal ideas. promotes fresh New Zealand grown vegetables. Over the last few years we have had a major focus on hospitality and food service, and as a result we are certainly seeing far more fresh New Zealand-grown vegetables take centre-stage on chefs' plates these days” Pip said.

Look at the photos of the winning recipes on