NZ CHEESE LOVERS' DINNER SERIES
May 2018: The country’s finest cheesemakers are being celebrated with cheese themed four courses dinners being held across the country for the NZ Cheese Lovers’ Dinner Series 2018.Five of the country’s top chefs have created special four course menus which hero locally crafted cheese. They have chosen cheese from the best in the country, many were recent winners at the NZ Champion of Cheese Awards.The dinners all start at 6pm and are:Dunedin, Emerson’s – Wednesday 16 MayAuckland, Euro Bar & Restaurant – Tuesday 22 MayWellington, Shed 5 Restaurant & Bar - Wednesday 30 MayHamilton, Palate Restaurant – Monday 11 JuneTaupo, Bistro Lago – Tuesday 14 JuneEach of the four course dinners is matched to wines from Martinborough Vineyard with one course designed to match with a craft beer from Emersons.Organised by the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association, president Neil Willman said the dinners are to showcase the country’s craft cheesemakers. “This is a great opportunity for cheesemakers to get into restaurants, work with chefs and meet cheese lovers. At each dinner one guest cheesemaker will explain the care and attention which goes into making great cheese, to help people understand the cheesemaking process”.Each menu is bespoke to the chef and venue. Gareth Stewart’s menu for Euro features Clevedon Buffalo co, Mahoe, Puhoi and Barry’s Bay. While Palate chef Mat McLean draws upon the Waikato to showcase cheese from Meyer. In Dunedin, Emerson’s chef Andy Aitken uses Whitestone Cheese Co and Thorvald both made in the south island.Tickets for each dinner are available directly from the restaurant. Each four courses dinner includes a complementary Martinborough Vineyards wine or Emerson’s beer with each course.The NZ Cheesemakers Dinner Series follows the 15th NZ Champions of Cheese Awards, run by the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association. More than 2000 kg of NZ made cheese was assessed by 28 judges supported by 30 stewards on Saturday 24 February at the AUT School of Hospitality and Tourism. They awarded; 23 trophies, 41 gold medals, 66 silver medals and 53 bronze medals to New Zealand cheesemakers.