Visitors learned, locals tasted and the winners celebrated at this year's Local Wild Food Challenge in Raetihi.

Raetihi local Kay Henare and her whanau won big, with Kay taking out the grand prize and her family finishing runners-up in the junior challenge.

Ms Henare won with her entry "The 3 Billy Goats Gruff" which consisted of a curried goat pie with goat cheese, a Horopito goat kebab and a goats milk ice-cream desert.

"I didn't realise the category I had won at first, I was quite overwhelmed, I was like oh my god, really?

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"The standards are pretty high and I think this year we tried to get even more adventurous with the types of meals we made this year," Ms Henare said.

Ms Henare won venison, four RAL ski vouchers, food vouchers, petrol vouchers and more.

Founder of the Local Wild Food Challenge Bill Manson said that the event has evolved and now has a more festival feel.

"It's not just about wild pigs and venison any more, we have people who are entering vegetarian dishes, all sorts of desserts and even drinks," Mr Manson said.

"We had rolling workshops this year too, where interesting people in the wild food and environmental community had a space to show off what they can do."

He estimated that upwards of 400 people had attended last Saturday's event and he hoped for continued growth in years to come.

"I'd like to put a fire pit in next year. We'll get some Argentinian guys in who set everything up and slow cook meals throughout the day," Mr Manson said.

"It's actually really heart-warming and encouraging to see how this event is growing."

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