Steaming to Food Awards
Kiwi Kai’s steam puddings could just be the cream of the crop, at least according to the New Zealand Food Awards.
The Rotorua-based company’s steam puddings are among 23 finalists in the Artisan Food Producers category at the prestigious awards, with the winners to be announced on October 12.
Kiwi Kai founder Chris Poipoi said he was stunned by the nomination.
‘‘When I heard our name I was screaming at the computer,’’ he said.
‘‘Earlier in the week I had received news that we had missed out on being shortlisted for the Rotorua Business Awards so I didn’t have much confidence with the NZ Food Awards which is much bigger.’’
Poipoi said he wouldn’t have imagined they would be nominated ‘‘in my wildest dreams’’.
‘‘When I began Kiwi Kai I was just continuing my mother’s legacy with my own take on things. We adjusted recipes and processes as we grew. Now people are say- ing the Kiwi Kai puddings are the best in New Zealand,’’ he said.
‘‘Somewhere I hit a mix which has created what we now have. And my processes of consistent delivery has somehow been a masterstroke. I can point to many parts but I can’t actually identify where our X-Factor happened. And here we are being considered as the best Food Products in the country for 2017. It’s quite unbelievable.’’
Kiwi Kai isn’t alone flying the flag for Rotorua at the Awards either, with Croucher Brewing also up for an award in the Artisan Craft Beer category for their low-alcohol Lowrider.
‘‘It's quite unbelievable ’’
Kiwi Kai founder Chris Poipoi is happy his steam puddings have been named among the finalists at the 2017 NZ Food Awards (File).