Matariki Dish Challenge.

Tino Reka Te Kai -Matariki Dish Challenge - Waikato food inc

Back for its fifth year Waikato Food Inc’s 2019 Tino Reka te Kai Matariki Dish Challenge is once again putting the Waikato and New Zealand cuisine on the map.  Each winter local chefs sharpen their knives and create a dish celebrating both Matariki (Maori New Year) and Waikato produce. Over the years an abundance of creative concepts have been at the fore of the competition. The public are put to both the taste bud test and judge the dish on its visual appeal and how it is presented by the establishment. They then vote towards the people’s choice award whilst an industry based award is judged by mystery guest judges!

The coveted Marty Wong created trophy has graced the walls of some of the Waikato’s best eateries and it is expected the competition will be just as strong this year.

The challenge as always is to showcase local produce with the story and values of Matariki at the heart of your dish. This is about seasonality, sustainability and celebrating what the earth, sea and sky has gifted us on our plates. Your dish must have a title, story and produce which reflects this season and judging will take the entire experience into consideration, from the artistic arrangement on the plate, to taste, to story and to delivery. This is a front and back of house challenge and requires the whole team to be a part of the delivery of your signature dish!

So, start talking to your food reps, start doing your research and get ready to showcase your Matariki dish!

This challenge is open to Waikato Food Inc members in both restaurant and cafe categories. Not a member? No worries, sign up and pay the small fee of $25 for an annual membership and you’re in!

To enter, follow the link below and provide details on your dish and establishment. The process takes 20-30 minutes. We will contact you to arrange a time for the photography of you dish.

Some inspiration from previous years’ dishes

Entry Fee: $250

Non members will be charged a yearly membership fee ($25) and become automatic members when entering.

Key Dates:
6th May - Entries Open
28th May - Entries Close

6-8th June - Photographer collects dish entry images

8th June - Challenge begins
14th July - Challenge ends

Gala Awards Dinner 12th August 2019


Terms & Conditions of entry
The challenge is open to members of Waikato Food Inc, if you are not a member the annual fee of $25 will be added to your entry fee.

The competition dish must include a minimum of two local ingredients which must be specified. 

Price for the dish must be no higher than $35. 

Judging will take place between 8th June and 14th July. 

*Public voting for the People’s Choice award will take place between 8th June and 14th July. The winner of the People’s Choice award will be the eatery whose dish has the greatest number of public votes overall - voting app to be advised.

All participating eateries must display publicity material promoting the Tino Reka te Kai dish challenge including information on the public voting system once confirmed.

Entrants agree to the use of imagery of their establishments and their entry dishes to be used by Waikato Food Inc across their digital and print media platforms for the 2019 challenge and in future and the discretion of Waikato Food Inc.

The judges decision is final and no correspondence is to be entered upon.  All care will be taken throughout the judging process to find the overall winner.

Prizes are not transferrable for cash.

Employees and family of the eateries are not eligible to vote.

*public voting system and award to be confirmed.