Winning eatery has beef, lamb that's to dine for

By Roger Moroney

The people have spoken, and what they had to say has delighted Mission Restaurant manager Daniel Jaritz and executive chef Daniel Lorch.

The restaurant has picked up the People's Choice for the Hawke's Bay region when it comes to the creation of beef and lamb dishes.

"We're rapt to get the news," Mr Lorch said.

"It is an award which is all about people focus and for us, it is excellent feedback."

The awards are staged annually by Beef and Lamb New Zealand and this year, throughout the 11 regions, about 4000 votes were cast to find the restaurants which were tops according to diners.

Mr Jaritz echoed Mr Lorch's reaction to the win.

"This award means a great deal to us because we were chosen by the public," he said.

"My daughter was born as the voting period started and, being a little distracted, we only started handing out the voting cards two weeks after the competition began.

"The fact we won is a fantastic endorsement of the restaurant team and our executive chef," he said.

To widen the Mission smiles, it came on top of receiving two other awards recently - the Best Front of House Team at the 2013 Hawke's Bay Hospitality Awards and news that trainee chef 21-year-old Thomas Rofe had been named the region's top overall apprentice at the Greenmeadows Rotary and EIT Hawke's Bay Apprentice Awards.

"Yes, it's been a very good run," Mr Jaritz said.

Mr Lorch has been at the Mission Restaurant for about 18 months, having previously worked as executive chef at Chateau Tongariro, and before that on private yachts.

Born in Germany, he has lived in New Zealand for about 17 years.

"So, yes, I'm a Kiwi," he said.

He believed the dish that swung it was a lamb shoulder rack which was different in that he used the upper part and put it through a tenderising three-and-a-half-hour cooking process with herbs and vegetables.

"We are very lucky, here in Hawke's Bay, because I believe we have the best produce in the country."

Accordingly, local growers and suppliers could also take a slice of the accolade, he said.

Beef and Lamb New Zealand chief executive Rod Slater said all the participating restaurants had already proven to be offering the best beef and lamb cuisine in the country and the public's endorsement was further evidence of their excellence.

"Having this competition provides another check that these restaurants are at the top of their game when it comes to beef and lamb cuisine, and this result was better than even we expected. It shows the food-service industry is truly delivering to both domestic and international diners with its beef and lamb cuisine offering."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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