Mission Estate Restaurant head chef Daniel Lorch has had plenty of compliments for his latest lamb creation which is being put forward for the Hawke's Bay Regional Signature Dish Competition, but one stood out more than most.
It was from the owners of the Hawke's Bay farm Mr Lorch and his crew source their lamb from.
"They were really impressed with it, which was great to hear," he said.
The Signature Dish is a relatively new addition to the dinner menu and was a result of "looking to try something new".
It is the Lamb Noisette, with mustard green and sweetbread farce - with minted pea and ricotta gnocchi, oyster mushrooms, artichoke hearts and crisp panchetta - a sweet and tender creation involving a mix of lamb loin and offal mix, a small amount of fat and trimmed then stuffed with a sweetbread mousse and put into a wrap.
"It is very labour-intensive," Mr Lorch said, adding that the effort was well worthwhile given the reaction it had been getting.
"I wanted to do something a little out of the ordinary."
What he was also conscious of doing was ensuring that local meats, vegetables and cheeses were used.
In his dish, the ricotta cheese comes from Hohepa.
"We like to use local ingredients - to support locals."
He and restaurant manager Daniel Jaritz are hoping the Mission will do the double - having picked up the People's Choice for the Hawke's Bay region for beef and lamb dishes back in June.