Steak of Origin 2016 – Finalists Announced!

The nation’s top 20 beef steaks have been found, following an intense taste test today, with one more stage left to determine New Zealand’s ultimate steak producer.
The semi-final of the 2016 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Steak of Origin competition was held at Auckland University of Technology this afternoon, where a panel of 12 top food experts tasted and judged a total of 69 sirloin steaks.
Niki Bezzant says as a returning semi-final judge, she feels the standard of the entries is lifting year on year.
“I think the overall quality of the steaks improve each time round. Even though there was a high standard amongst all I judged, there were definitely a stand out few and I am eager to find out who’s they are!” says Bezzant.
The top 20 finalist steaks now move on to the Grand Final of the competition to be held in Palmerston North on Sunday 15 May, where they will be judged one last time by Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ambassador Chefs.
Between them, the Grand Final judges will determine both the 2016 Grand Champion and Supreme Brand Champion.

The 2016 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Steak of Origin finalists, sponsored by Zoetis, are:

CLASS 1 – BEST OF BREED: EUROPEAN
• Don Buchanan, Taumarunui (Piedmontese), processed at Land Meat Wanganui
• John Hammond, Kaitaia (Simmental), processed at Silver Fern Farms Dargaville
• Jon Knauf, Wairoa (Simmental), processed at Land Meat Wanganui
• Jon Knauf, Wairoa (Simmental), processed at Land Meat Wanganui

CLASS 2 – BEST OF BREED: BRITISH
• Chris & Karren Biddles, Te Kopuru (Angus), processed at Auckland Meat Processors
• Angus & Forbes Cameron, Ashhurst (Angus), processed at Land Meat Wanganui
• Angus & Forbes Cameron, Ashhurst (Angus), processed at Land Meat Wanganui
• Paul Williams, Gisborne (Angus), processed at Silver Fern Farms Hastings

CLASS 3 – BEST OF BREED: CROSSBREED & OTHER
• Brendon & Hayley Robinson, Hawera (Angus X), processed at ANZCO Foods
• Brendon & Hayley Robinson, Hawera (Hereford X), processed at ANZCO Foods
• Matt Wyeth, Masterton (Angus X Focus-Stabiliser), processed at Silver Fern Farms Hastings
• Wagyu Purebred NZ, Silverdale (Wagyu), processed at Auckland Meat Processors

CLASS 4 – BEST OF BRAND: RETAIL
• Countdown North Island (CD Finest Angus), Takapoto (Angus), processed at Auckland Meat Processors
• Countdown North Island (CD Finest Angus), Ridgewood Farms (Angus), processed at Auckland Meat Processors
• Neat Meat (AngusPure), Te Kopuru (Angus), processed at Auckland Meat Processors
• Wilson Hellaby (AngusPure), Storth Oaks (Angus), processed at Auckland Meat Processors

CLASS 5 – BEST OF BRAND: WHOLESALE & FOODSERVICE
• AngusPure, Ashhurst (Angus), processed at Land Meat Wanganui
• Countdown North Island (CD Finest Angus), Takapoto (Angus), processed at Auckland Meat Processors
• Countdown South Island (CD Finest Angus), Ashburton (Angus), processed at Ashburton Meat Processors
• Neat Meat (AngusPure), Te Kopuru (Angus), processed at Auckland Meat Processors

Beef farmers, retailers and wholesalers were invited to enter the competition and each of the 355 entries were initially sent to Carne Technologies for scientific testing for tenderness and colour, which determined the 69 semi-finalists.
The competition is supported by processing plants across the country. These include: AFFCO Moerewa, Alliance Group Ltd, ANZCO Riverlands, Ashburton Meat Processors, Auckland Meat Processors/Wilson Hellaby, Cabernet Foods, CMP Kokiri, Harris Meats, Land Meat NZ, Lean Meats, Progressive Meats, Silver Fern Farms and Taylor Preston.