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Top restaurants battle it out for Best Fritter Trophy

One of New Zealand’s most well-respected food-writers and advisors Ray McVinnie will be at the Fritter Festival this Saturday to judge the Best Fritter trophy on 10 March at Toll Stadium, Whangarei.


Ray has worked for many of the country’s leading magazines and newspapers. He has spent years in restaurant kitchens, a lecturer at AUT and a judge on My Kitchen Rules NZ and Masterchef NZ for many years, making him the perfect guest to judge the Whangarei Fritter Festival 2018.  


Ray is looking forward to being a part of the festival and checking out Whangarei’s Fritter fare.   


Two of Northland’s top restaurants No.8 and The Quay have come on board for this year’s fritter festival. There will be fierce competition between head chefs and partners John Salisbury (The Quay) and Reema Gandhi (No.8) who will be battling it out, side by side on the day for the best fritter trophy.


Rachel O’Gorman Team Leader Marketing & Events from Whangarei District Council says that festival organisers are very proud to welcome two of Whangarei’s favourite restaurants and says people are in for a treat.


“John will be making a potato and Edamame fritter with seared beef fillet, truffle, bonito & soy mayo while Reema is making a special No.8 pulled pork fritter with chilli caramel”.


Rachel says “The public can also vote for their favourite fritter on the day between 2pm and 4pm. The winning chef will take home the Pak’n Save People’s Choice Award”.


Winners of the Best Fritter Trophy and the Pak’n Save People’s Choice award will be announced by Ray McVinnie on stage at 5.30pm before festival headliners Salmonella Dub take the stage.


Along with The Quay and No.8, other new café and restaurants joining the Fritter Festival include Burger Bank, Cabbage Tree Café, Rascals Café and Powerplant. Those returning are Absolute Caterers, Café Jerusalem, Café Divine, Fat Camel, Killer Prawn, Shiraz, The Apprentice (NorthTec), The Butter Factory and Vintage Market Deli.


Tickets for the 6th Whangarei Fritter Festival are available from Eventfinda, Forum North Box Office and at the festival entrance on the day. A limited number of VIP tables have also been released and are available for sale until Thursday or until they sell out by emailing