New Zealand's Ultimate Steak Connoisseur judging experience

We found New Zealand’s Ultimate Steak Connoisseur, Gretchen Binns and brought her along to help determine the country’s tastiest and most tender steak at the PGG Wrightson Steak of Origin competition. Here is her experience of the day:

 2018 PGG Wrightson Steak of Origin competition judges; Mat McLean, Palate Restaurant, Hamilton, Harry Williams, Alpha Street Kitchen and Bar, Cambridge, Gretchen Binns, Ultimate Steak Connoisseur, Graham Hawkes, Paddington Arms, Invercargill, Andrew Clarke, Victoria Street Bistro, Hamilton. 

2018 PGG Wrightson Steak of Origin competition judges; Mat McLean, Palate Restaurant, Hamilton, Harry Williams, Alpha Street Kitchen and Bar, Cambridge, Gretchen Binns, Ultimate Steak Connoisseur, Graham Hawkes, Paddington Arms, Invercargill, Andrew Clarke, Victoria Street Bistro, Hamilton. 

Foul weather, farmers, red bands galore, Field days 2018!

The ultimate day of all days…well it was for this steak connoisseur.  And no doubt for a nervous farmer or three whose paddock to plate skills were being put to the ‘taste’.

PGG Wrightson/Beef and Lamb NZ’s Steak of Origin finals time.

Intro and briefing completed.

PGG Wrightson cap donned

Steak of Origin apron tied

BBQ fired up and judging commences

Steaks: medium rare.

Rested: 5 minutes.

And then the moment of reckoning.

Head judge Hawkesy, knife and fork poised in the air, like a knife through hot butter he slices the first steak.

My oh My, the aroma!  Ahhh.  A moment to enjoy.  Pure bliss.  A steak connoisseurs dream.  Steak so tender, so succulent, so melt in your mouth bloody beautiful you want the moment to go on and on.

And on and on it did go.  For 6 more mouth wateringly, perfectly reared (thanks farmers), perfectly cooked steaks.

The farmers were no doubt on the edges of their seats (well standing), the tension high.  It wasn’t just the steak at stake here.

Reputations were to be made upon these tasty morsels.

Stories to be turned into legends passed on to generations of farmers to come.

A serious job for a steak connoisseur.  And serious it was.

Each had a slightly different aroma.  Or taste.  Or texture.  Or succulence.

Too soon judging was complete.  Heck they all deserved a win.  But as always one stood out from the rest.

Simmental.  Good on ya mate.

Seven steaks, seventh heaven…you betcha!

Beef and Lamb, god damn what a great day.

Brooke Campbell