Effortless entertaining as Fiona Smith showcases the winning products from the Cuisine Artisan Awards in the New Zealand Food Awards 2023.

It is always so interesting to see the range of amazing products that come through the Artisan Awards each year. Our 10 finalists are all standouts, all lovingly made and delicious. In these recipes I have used them in sharing, party-style food and I have kept it simple so as not to dilute the fact that these products taste great and enhance dishes without doing much to them. Where possible, I have added options for making in advance and heating to serve, which frees you up to enjoy your guests. I have also given a few ideas in each introduction for incorporating these products into your cooking in other ways.


The wonderful fresh bread taste of Automatic Bakery Half Baked Balsamic & Feta Bread makes it perfect to serve at parties. Combining slow-cooked onions, balsamic vinegar and feta cheese, it has enough flavour that people can nibble on it as is, or it makes a great addition to any platter or meal.

Kāpiti Bridge Street Blue is a decadently gooey blue cheese, handmade specially to celebrate over 100 years of cheesemaking at Fonterra’s site at Bridge Street, Eltham. It is a natural-rind, small blue cheese, high in cream content, moist, buttery, creamy and very rich with mild blue flavour.

Hinterland is one of the few certified-organic mānuka honey producers in New Zealand, harvesting from the most wild and remote parts of the country. Raw and unpasteurised, Hinterland UMF 20+ Mānuka Honey tastes just like real, old-fashioned honey. It’s so flavourful you will just want to eat it by the spoonful, but it also goes very well with Bridge Street Blue – try them together for a taste sensation.