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Recipes: Champions

Everyone loves a winner but New Zealanders love to compete as well as win.  In fact we have competitions for just about everything from wine to cheese, baking and even sausage making.  In this programme we travel the country in search of a few award winning producers and champions.  Featuring; Crescent Dairy Goats Cheese, Little Boys Sausages, Treetops Lodge, Jane Hunter and Champion Chef Rex Morgan from Citron Restaurant in Wellington.

Crescent Dairy Goats

Jan Walter lives for making cheese.  She entered her first cheese, Farmhouse Mature in the 2000 New Zealand Cheese Awards and won the 'best new cheese' category.  Over the next four years she has collected 12 gold medals, 5 silver and 4 category trophies.  Jan and John's heard of 20 goats produce 16 litres of milk each morning which they turn into one two kilogram farmhouse cheese daily.  Crescent Dairy Goats sell goat's milk, yoghurt and cheese at the farmhouse gate from July through to April and whole cheeses can be couriered around New Zealand.

Little Boys Champion Sausages

  • 9 Alexandra Road
  • Te Aroha West
  • Tel: 07 884 4550 - 021 574 733
  • Contact: Jeremy Schmid

Jeremy Schmid was working as a chef in Auckland when he won a scholarship to study charcuterie at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley and discovered a passion for the craft.  Two years ago Jeremy started 'Little Boys' his own sausage making business in Te Aroha and last year he won the nation's top prize with his duck and porcini creation.  The Little Boys range includes other gourmet flavours such as venison, juniper and toasted garlic, chicken, fennel and apple, beef, paprika and caramelised onion, and pork sage and apple.  Little Boys products are distributed nationwide by Zealfresh Ltd.

For more information about The Great New Zealand Sausage Competition contact:

Stephen Macaulay

  • General Manager
  • Retail Meat NZ
  • PO Box 12-126
  • Wellington
  • Tel: (04) 472 0807
  • Fax: (04) 472 0804

Treetops Lodge

Treetops Lodge offers the ultimate in world class luxury accommodation.  Since it opened in 2002 the Lodge has received a number of international awards and accolades including Hideaway Magazine's Grand Award and Elite Traveller's decadent find for 2004. 

Roast pheasant and confit of pheasant with polent eggplant and red onion jam


  • 1 hen pheasant
  • Duck fat for cooking
  • 6 slices of streaky bacon
  • Soft polenta
  • 1 shallot
  • 100gms fine polenta
  • 200mls chicken stock
  • 30gms grated parmesan cheese
  • 20mls white wine
  • Cream


  • Red onion jam
  • Seasonal vegetables
  • Asparagus
  • Roast eggplant

To Prepare the Pheasant
Bone the hen pheasant by removing the legs. Trim the wings, remove the neck and cut off the neck skin.  Place the carcase on a roasting tray with the breast facing up.  Cover the breast with the neck skin and layer on the bacon.  Bake at 210 degrees for for twenty five minutes and leave to rest when cooked.

For the Thigh
Trim the excess thigh meat and remove the bone leaving the skin whole.  Push the excess thigh me back under the skin and tie with string.  Poach in duck fat on a low heat for 2-3 hours.

Sweat off the onion with a little salt and olive oil. Add white wine and stock and bring to boil.  Whisk in polenta and keep on low heat. Add cream and cheese and season to taste.

To Plate
Use seasonal vegetable to garnish and finish with red onion jam and game jus.

Rex Morgan

  • Citron Restaurant
  • 270 Willis Street
  • Wellington
  • Tel: (04) 801 6263

Rex Morgan has cooked and won countless culinary gongs all over the world and the trend is continuing at his excellent Wellington restaurant Citron. Since it opened in 2003 Citron has picked up a number of awards including Restaurant of the Year from the city's top critic Des Britten. Citron specialises in 3 and 8 course set menus which reflect Rex's classical training and travels while using the best possible local ingredients. Citron is open Tuesday to Saturday and seats only 28 so bookings are essential.

Chargrilled peppers with saffron wafers 

For the Peppers

  • 360g Sliced Roasted bell peppers (peeled, deseeded)
  • Gently warm peppers in e.v. olive oil, season slightly

For the Saffron Wafers

  • Combine in a food processor bowl
  • 250gm flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Place the following in a pot

  • 2 tsp saffron
  • 110ml water
  • 7gm Butter

Heat very gently until butter is melted and saffron is infused. Pour wet mix into food processor and mix until combined. Rest for 30 minutes. Roll thinly and cut into shapes. Deep fry at 160C for 2 minutes or bake at 180C for 6 minutes. Garnish peppers w saffron wafers. (Cucumber Sorbet served at Citron)

Beef fillet with mutton bird ravioli

This dish consists of medallions of aged beef fillet cooked to med-rare.  The ravioli is made with pasta or Japanese dough wrappers. The muttonbird is cooked confit style; duck can be used as a substitute. The stuffing is similar to chicken bread stuffing with diced bone marrow & French snails. This can be rolled into a log and sliced & pan fried, or can be baked in foil, then sliced.  This dish can be served with a jus & flavoured oils.

Strawberry and coconut parfait

  • 250mls water
  • 200g sugar
  • 500mls coconut milk
  • 100mls Malibu

Bring water & sugar to the boil, let cool, add coconut milk & Malibu. Churn like ice cream.  For the Strawberry, replace 300mls coconut milk.  This dish is served with a flavoured ice block & a caramel dipped almond.

Hunter Wines

In the last 20 years Marlborough has moved from virtual obscurity to become New Zealand's best known wine region. Since those early days Jane Hunter has been managing director and viticulturalist as what has become one of our most established and awarded wineries.  From winning their first major award back in 1986 Hunter's Wines has won more than 90 gold medals at national and international wine competitions, including the Marquis de Goulaine Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc in the World at the 1992 International Wine & Spirit Competition.  On a personal level Jane received the ultimate recognition last year when she won the inaugural Women in Wine award at the Guildhall in London. 

Hunter's cellar door is open year round closed only on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  The vineyard restaurant is open every day for lunch and is open in the weekends for dinner.

Mussel Salad


  • 2kg mussels
  • 1/2 cup Hunter's Riesling
  • 1 small onion finely sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb cored and finely sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, washed deseeded and cut into batons
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place mussels and wine in a large pot, cover and bring to the boil. After around five minutes the mussels will open. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Once cooled remove mussels from the pot but save the cooking liquor. Remove mussels from the shell and drop into the cooking liquor. Leave them to soak while you prepare the rest of the salad. Place all other ingredients in a bowl, drain the mussels of their juice and add to the salad. Toss gently with fingers and serve.