Benny Tatton has been named the winner of the annual Port Waikato Whitebait Fritter competition.
Held on Saturday, 19 November at the Port Waikato Community Hall, competitors turned up the heat this year, which saw a range of ingredients and cooking styles on show.
The event was judged by Waikato Mayor, Allan Sanson, caterer, food writer and critic, Grant Allen and freelance food and recipe writer, Catherine Milford. Brenda Roberts took out second place, and Tania Collins third, while Benny Tatton also took out People’s Choice, and Paula Upfold came Runner Up. Hori Watson was Highly Commended for his fritters, and Kirby Taylor was presented a prize for the most innovative.
“All the competitors say they feel nervous about coming along and competing, especially as there are spectators as well as a panel of judges who also taste and score their fritters. This doesn’t stop them laying their favourite frypans alongside their varied mix of ingredients and going hard out to create the best, most iconic fritter and be applauded as ‘the’ Fritter Champion,” says organiser, Jacqui Church.
“Our committee love creating this event as it celebrates so many of the reasons why we love living rurally and the bounty of the Waikato River. Everyone who comes along, whether as a fritter cook, with our youngest entrant being 12 years old, or just to watch and learn some new tricks to creating the perfect fritter, or just to eat them – everyone leaves with a smile and full belly. What better way to send a couple of hours on a Saturday than at the beach!”
Photo’s courtesy of Leah Fry and Jacqui Church.