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Judges put Spring in the step of local producers

Posted on : 26 September 2016

Australia's best fine food producers were named on Friday evening as the 2016 Sydney Royal Fine Food Show held its annual awards night at Sydney Showground.

A team of 115 expert judges put approximately 1,200 products to the test in categories showcasing branded beef, branded lamb, deli meat, olive oil and regional food for the chance to be awarded a prestigious Gold, Silver or Bronze medal or Sydney Royal Championship.

Sally Evans, Chair, Sydney Royal Fine Food Show said it was great to be involved in such a thriving national produce competition at a time when Australian consumers are increasingly interested in the provenance of their food, as well as in diversity, choice and flavour.

"The Australian market continues to demand new products and flavours from both large and boutique producers. It was excellent to see such an array of high-quality, innovative entries this year," she said.

"We've seen an exciting increase in entries from small producers many of whom have started their business out of their home, selling at farmers' markets. We encourage them all to enter our Shows, as it's not only an opportunity for them to be recognised by their peers and by consumers, but our judges provide valuable and detailed feedback to help them improve their products.

"Sydney Royal does not just provide competitions and medals for producers but strives to foster excellence in agricultural practice across the food industries. Training and feedback is a key part of this.

"This year the judges tasted their way through some excellent produce, awarding 87 Gold, 284 Silver and 367 Bronze medals, in addition to 31 Sydney Royal Championships.

Sydney Royal leads the way in Australian food competitions, with an extensive range of shows judged seasonally by a diversity of highly-experienced food professionals sourced from across the entire industry.

The general public, exhibitors and trade tasted many of the winning products at the Awards event on 23 September at Sydney Showground.

Champion winners become eligible for finalist selection in the Sydney Royal President's Medal, a unique competition which judges award winning businesses on their triple bottom line - social, economic and environment impact. The President's Medal winner will be announced at a lavish dinner on Friday, 25 November.

Branded Beef

One of Australia's largest beef producers has stamped its mark on the Sydney Royal Spring Fine Food Show, taking out three major awards. Operating across seven million hectares of land in Queensland and the Norther Territory, the Australian Agricultural Company took home Champion Wagyu Beef, Grand Champion Grain Fed Beef and Best in Show - Branded Beef, for its Wylarah product.

Also a winner in 2015, Bindaree Beef of Sydney returned to claim the Champion Open Beef prize for its Mayfield product, while Stockyard took out Champion Grain Fed Beef for its Stockyard Gold and Certified Angus Group won Champion Grass Fed Beef with its Signature Angus Pure.

Seven Gold, eleven Silver and sixteen Bronze medals were awarded, in addition to six Championship Trophies, at the 2016 Branded Beef Competition.

Branded Lamb

A NSW-based company has had a breakout year at the Sydney Royal Spring Fine Food Show, taking out both Branded Lamb Competition titles in 2016.

Breakout River of Cowra, which went into business in 2006 and is the first time its entered product in Sydney Royal, has delivered on its promise of quality meat by taking out Champion Grass Fed Lamb in addition to the prized award, Best in Show - Branded Lamb.

Boasting a longer shelf life than its competitors, Breakout River won both awards for its Cowra Lamb.

This year saw one Gold, three Silver, three Bronze and two Championship Trophies awarded.

Deli Meat

The popularity of the Deli Meat competition continues to rise, with entries from all over the country.

Greg Bonnefin, Chair of Judges, said "This competition is pivotal within the industry as it consistently encourages the smaller and specialist producers to enter. They are not only winning classes but are now becoming Champions."

"These small producing Champions gain a distinct marketing advantage, achieving greater exposure to the public who are looking for innovative, quality products." he said.

Locally based Julianne's Kitchen was the overall winner of the competition, taking home Best in Show - Deli Meat for their Chicken and Madeira Pate, which also picked up Champion Smallgoods Product supported by the NSW Food Authority.

Other winners included:

  • Bertocchi Small Goods - Champion Bacon (Bertocchi Brothers Long Rindless Bacon), Champion Ham (Bertocchi Double Smoked Ham on Bone)

  • Fettayleh Wholesale Meat Supplies - Champion Deli Meat Speciality Product (Fettayleh Basturma)

  • Barossa Fine Foods - Champion Cooked Deli Meat (New York Style Pastrami), Champion Deli Meat Gourmet Product (Gourmet Presswurst)

  • Stella May Fine Foods - Champion Poultry Product (Asian Spiced Duck Rillettes)

  • Big Country Meat and Foods - Champion Traditional Sausage Perpetual Trophy, donated by Graham J Crouch (Pork Sausage Thick)

  • Euromaster Smallgoods & Fine Foods - Champion Gourmet Sausage (Spanish Chorizo)

The Deli Meat Competition saw 39 Gold, 157 Silver, 208 Bronze Medals and ten Championship Trophies awarded to Australian producers.

Pasta

The Pasta Competition returned to the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show in 2016 and according to Chair of Judges, Dr Ray Hare, the standard of entries has risen consistently since judges first began putting pasta to the test.

"The overall number of accolades won has risen, and we're seeing both small and large producers claim more medals, from Champion status through to a Bronze Medal. It's a very pleasing result," he said.

Best in Show - Pasta was awarded to NSW producer Pasta Di Porto for its Veal Osso Bucco Ragu, Pecorino and Fresh Herb Ravioli, which also won Champion Fancy Pasta.

Pastabilities, also from NSW, claimed Champion 100% Durum Wheat Fresh Pasta for its Egg Pasta Fettuccine.

The Pasta Competition saw 8 Gold, 25 Silver, 44 Bronze Medals and three Championship Trophies awarded to Australian producers.

Olive Oil

2016 again set a record for the amount of entries received in the Olive Oil competition, with 145 products entered displaying a continuous lift in quality from many boutique producers.

Five major awards were announced on Friday evening, with Cobram Estate of Victoria claiming top honours with Best in Show - Olive Oil or Olive Product with its Cobram Estate Ultra Premium Hojiblanca 2016, which also picked up Champion Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Champion Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

The two other major winners from the Competition included Gooramadda Olives which won Champion Olives and Gwydir Grove Olives which claimed Champion Flavoured Olive Oil.

The high-profile judges for the Olive Oil Competition awarded 19 Gold, 52 Silver and 43 Bronze Medals, in addition to the five Championship Trophy winners.

Regional Food

A NSW producer has earnt the bragging rights of the Regional Food Competition at this year's Sydney Royal Spring Fine Food Show, taking home four major prizes, including Best in Show - Regional Food.

Barbushco of Lorne, which claimed two awards in 2015, again claimed Champion Speciality Product for its Lemon Myrtle product and this year also added Champion Savoury Preserve and the Judge's Choice Award for Regional Expression to the trophy cabinet for the same product.

Meanwhile, Victorian artisan French caramel producer, Caramelicious, was crowned Champion Sweet Exhibit for its Salted Caramel.

The Show awarded five Champions, 21 Gold, 50 Silver and 72 Bronze Medals.

For a full list of winners visit www.rasnsw.com.au/sydney-royal-competitions/competitions/

Available for interviews:

Peter Olson, Chair of Judges - Olive Oil

Barbara Sweeney, Chair of Judges - Regional Food

George Ujvary, Chair of Judges - Branded Lamb

George Ujvary, Chair of Judges - Branded Beef

Greg Bonnefin, Chair of Judges - Deli Meat

Ray Hare, Chair of Judges - Pasta

Sally Evans - Chair, Sydney Royal Fine Food Committee

Further information and interview requests, please contact:

James Riordan

Public Relations Manager

t (02) 9704 1453 m 0419 483 407 e jriordan@rasnsw.com.au