Anne Hemminga of Meadows Restaurant at the De Roode Schuu hotel in Amersfoot in the central Netherlands is the 2017 Hanos Cervena Masterchef.
Hemminga beat off eight other finalists, from the Netherlands, in late February at Hanos’ flagship store in Delft to win her new title and prize of a trip for two to New Zealand.
The final chefs had been selected from two semi-finals held in 2016. The competition theme was street food, which meant the chefs had to focus on cooking Cervena venison in a non-game style and created their dishes live in front of judges and customers at the final, explains DINZ venison marketing manager Marianne Wilson.
Hemminga’s winning dish was a New Zealand-inspired hangi smoked Cervena on a caramelised kumara sponge cake, served with kumara chutney and sweet and sour beetroot.
She liked working with Cervena because, “it’s a high-quality meat which, when prepared correctly, is very tasty.” Her win means a lot to her, she says, because she put a lot of time and passion into it, as her first ever competition entry.
Cervena bolar, from the shoulder, was smoked in a barbecue with charcoal, lava stones, branches along with soil and spices, which gave the meat an earthy taste and enhanced the seasonings. The dish was also accompanied by pulled venison, which was also slow-cooked hangi-style.
Delighted her long-time dream to go to New Zealand has come true, the chef is now looking forward to her trip to the other side of the world later this year.
“And, to see where the Cervena deer come from!” she says.
The new prize-winner will follow in the tracks of Simon Feitsma, the Dutch 2016 winner who visited New Zealand recently (see Deer Industry News, February/March 2017). He was one of the trio of 2017 judges, joining Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) consultant chef Shannon Campbell and Herlinda de Clerck of Passion Hi, a Dutch magazine targeting hotels, restaurants and caterers, which covers the competition extensively for its readers.
“The judges said the food produced was of a very high standard and extremely creative in presentation,” says Wilson. You could see a lot of work had gone into the submissions,”
Martijn Jansen of Ria Joosten Catering & Evenementen and Jeffrey Schoeman of Herberg De Zoelensche Brug, second and third place-getters, each won a Big Green Egg, a Kamado-style ceramic charcoal barbecue.
The Cervena Masterchef competition was again organised by Benelux foodservice wholesaler Hanos and supported by DINZ as part of the joint deer industry/government Passion2Profit programme. It aims to introduce Cervena to the Benelux countries as a summer dining option.
This article first appeared in Deer Industry News magazine (April/May 2017) and is reproduced here with permission. Check out the magazine for more in-depth deer industry specific news.