Twist on classic gets cafe noticed

By Amy Shanks

A creative meal featuring beans and bacon earned Cafe Ahuriri a top spot in the New Zealand Cafe of the Year final.

The dish features a filo shell filled with Wattie's Baked Beans, an egg cracked over the top and a dusting of Grana Padano cheese.

It is baked until golden then served on a bed of streaky Kiwi bacon and topped with mascarpone, spring onion curls and a watercress pesto drizzle.

Behind this fancy twist on a Kiwi favourite was hours of preparation and countless other attempts by Cafe Ahuriri head chef Jarrod Martin.

"The criteria was that I had to use Watties baked beans and Kiwi bacon, it also had to be on offer for breakfast and lunch. For me, I didn't want it to look just like beans and bacon, so there was plenty of trial and error."

The dish proved a hit with diners who loved the different textures, tastes and look of the creation.

"It's pretty good value too at $13."

Customer votes saw Cafe Ahuriri stand out among 400 entries to make the top 15, which will now be scrutinised on their appearance, atmosphere, service, meals and overall experience, by an experienced team of judges.

"We are just over the moon, it was a total surprise that our little cafe hidden away in the corner made it out of a region stretching from Gisborne to Wellington," Mr Martin said.

The winner will be named NZ Cafe of the Year 2012 and feature on the popular primetime television segment Food in a Minute. Their dish will feature on recipe cards at supermarkets and appear on the Food in a Minute and Cafe of the Year websites and Facebook pages.

Judging finishes on November 11, with the overall winner announced the next day. Food in a Minute segments featuring the winning cafe's dish are set to screen on TV1 and TV2 from November 26.

For more information see:

- Hawkes Bay Today

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