Lambs judged from hoof to plate

By, Kelli Hooks

Lamb lovers will have the chance to see every step from farm paddock to dinner plate at Masterton's A&P; show on February 16.

An inaugural lamb tasting event, Gate to Plate, will take place at the Solway Showgrounds to kickstart the Wairarapa Shear Fest.

President of the Masterton A&P; Society Allan Williams said Gate to Plate built on existing A&P; show events.

"We're always looking for new ideas to create new things of interest at the A&P; show," Mr Williams said.

The competition will include a judging of lamb on the hoof, on Sunday, on the hook, on Monday, and then on the plate, on February 16.

On the hoof will involve judging the lamb as export lamb, it will have to be prime and under 20kg and on the hook will involve the lamb's fat being measured and leanness judged.

Chefs from four local restaurants will be involved in the lamb on the plate section. Martinborough's Peppers Parehua, Medici Cafe, The Gamekeeper and Greytown's Wakelin House will choose three cuts of lamb and create three dishes that will be judged by a panel of three.

People will be able to taste the judged dishes but may have to pay a small charge, he said.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase how different cuts of lamb can be cooked to perfection ... and a chance for the public to sample these and see if they can taste any varietal differences," he said.

Other lamb dishes will also be available for purchase on the day.

Ten farmers had entered so far, with entries closing today.

Gate to Plate is part of the two-week, Shear Feast festival. Other events include Castlepoint Lighthouse centenary celebrations, an evening of live music at Aratoi, the 2013 Shear Fashion Show, a veterans shearing competition at Cobblestones, Greytown, and Masterton's Golden Shears.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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