A delicious tarte au citron (lemon tart) has taken out the top prize at the annual Russell Bake-off - and for its maker, Peruvian-born Maria Garcia, the humble delicacy represents the best of Russell's cultural diversity.
Maria, who is the driving force behind Pompallier Mission's French Coffee House, along with colleague Angela Maioha, drew on local heritage and connections to inspire her award-winning delicacy.
"Northland is famous for its citrus fruits, which are currently in season, and a lot of our neighbours and local people have a lemon tree in their garden," she said.
"At Pompallier Mission we have a close historical connection to the French culture and an awareness of the importance of hauora through Maori culture, so with that in mind we came up with the idea of the lemon tart."
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Maria and her team were also keen to have a presence as part of the wider Matariki celebrations, and in line with the festivities, provided some additional food for the community - a quiche lorraine and a second quiche made from pumpkin and feta.
"Everyone knows us for our French pastries, but this year we wanted to add something more," she said.
The recipe for the tart came from Maria's husband Daniel Putz, who is a chef, and both were a little surprised when the winning dish was announced.
"We knew that most of the participants would have produced some amazingly rich multi-layered cakes with cream and everything else you could imagine," Maria said.
"We never guessed that our simple lemon tart could ever have a chance of winning. We just never saw that coming."
The prize for winning the annual competition, which is beloved by the community, is a hand-made wooden medallion that will take pride of place in the cafe, along with a cookbook, a restaurant voucher and a voucher for a chocolatier in Kerikeri, all of which Maria was keen to share with her team, who are more than just workmates.
"I'm very happy to be part of the French Cafe. For me the ladies there are not only colleagues, they are part of my whanau," she added. "Coming from so far away in Peru and Italy, it was difficult to feel at home here initially. I'm quite blessed to have found them, and we provide support for each other."