TATHRA Oysters has again tasted national success, named a medallist in the ABC Delicious Produce Awards announced on Monday night.
The winners of the ABC Delicious Produce Awards 2014 were announced at a VIP industry event at Kitchen By Mike in Sydney on Monday night.
Some of Australia’s most renowned chefs and food industry leaders joined the Delicious team at this annual ceremony.
The awards are designed to celebrate the country’s most outstanding ingredients, inspiring small and sustainable producers, farmers’ markets, innovators, regional chefs and more.
While the local oyster season is in hiatus over winter, Tathra’s multi-award-winning produce has again been singled out by judges for its superior quality.
Tathra Oysters was named a medallist in the From the Sea category – the only NSW producer to be awarded for its seafood.
Tathra Oysters won the From the Sea category in 2012 with its bistro grade oysters, then narrowly missed out on back-to-back titles in 2013.
This year, the From the Sea category was won by Coorong Wild Seafood of South Australia for its Coorong yellow-eye mullet.
In another coup for the South Coast, the SAGE Farmers Market in Moruya won the Delicious Produce Award’s Outstanding Farmers’ Market category.
“Research shows that Australian home cooks are more and more interested in knowing where their food comes from,” Delicious editor Danielle Oppermann said.
“They want to support local growers and artisans and shop at farmers’ markets.
“The Delicious Produce Awards are uniquely positioned to shine a spotlight on the best of the best in these areas.
“We’re proud to be helping small producers succeed through bringing them to the attention of the restaurant industry and consumers.”
Now in their ninth year, the Delicious Produce Awards continue to highlight independent producers, thanks to the dedication of readers who nominate their local heroes, and the insight of a panel of national chef judges and industry experts.
“Every year I am blown away by the produce presented for judging,” Delicious Produce Awards patron Maggie Beer said.
“When you see the quality and variety of ingredients we now have at our fingertips, it’s no surprise that Australia is home to some of the best chefs and restaurants in the world.”
Key trends on the Australian food scene were reflected on awards night, including the rediscovery of Indigenous ingredients such as Best New Product/From the Earth winner Snowy River Station Sea Spray, and Outstanding Innovation winner Paroo Premium Kangaroo.
The range and quality of dairy products continue to grow, including two-time From the Dairy winner The Butter Factory Myrtleford for its creme fraiche.
Grass-fed beef continues to be one of the country’s strongest offerings, as shown by this year’s From the Paddock winner Warialda Belted Galloways.
And the Australian seafood industry again proved to be a standout for judges, with Producer of the Year going to Coorong Wild Seafood for its Coorong Yellow-eye Mullet.
Dan Hunter took top honours as Outstanding Regional Chef in his first year at his new restaurant Brae in country Victoria, while the Barossa was named Oustanding Region for the new restaurants and wineries revitalising South Australia’s historic food and wine destination.
Awards guests gathered at Kitchen by Mike in Sydney to enjoy canapes based on winners’ and finalists’ produce, with Brown Brothers wines and Rocks Brewery beer.
The complete story and full list of winners and medallists will appear in the July issue of Delicious, on sale from Thursday.