The art of the artisan is well and truly thriving on the New Zealand food scene, if the quality of finalists in the category in NZ Food Awards is anything to go by, says Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich.

“Some of the best products on supermarket shelves come from the innovation of our artisan suppliers, and this year’s awards show that trend is continuing.

“Products with names such as Pink Pickle, Feijoa Gelato, Blood Orange Tonic Water, Locusts, and Gourmet Guru Lemon & Passionfruit Dipping Sauce give a hint of the inventiveness on show this year.

“Many of our iconic products started life hand-crafted in small family businesses, and we need to continue to foster and celebrate that.

“As such, the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council will this year present the winners of the Artisan Food Producers Award at the NZ Food Awards with free membership for a year.

“There’s a very strong line-up this year, and we look forward to introducing them to our big programme of events.”

Finalists are:

The Lucky Taco, Abel NZ, Nutting Better, Bakeworks, Carello del Gelato, Durello, Gathered Game, Dr Feelgood, Manukee, Green Meadows Beef, Hawke’s Bay Brewing Company, Manungatapere Berries, Bootleggers, Queen Anne Indulgence, Kiwi Kai, Fresh West, The Caker, Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery, Otago Locusts, No Shortcuts, Food to Market, Woodshed Enterprises.

The Artisan Food Producers Award, in association with Supermarket News and Restaurant & Café Magazine, will be presented at the Massey University-sponsored awards dinner on 12 October.