Ōra King crowns chef Michael Demagistris with Best Dish Australia 2018

 Michael Demagistris, executive chef of Red Hill's Polperro Winery Restaurant, with his award-winning Best Ōra King Dish Australia 2018.

The sixth annual Ōra King Awards were held in New Zealand on Tuesday October 16 with Michael Demagistris, executive chef of Victoria's Polperro Winery Restaurant, securing the Best Ōra King Dish Australia 2018.

Held in Ōra King’s heartland of Nelson, New Zealand, the theme of this year's Ōra King Awards was ‘Inspired by Art’.

Demagistris took out the top spot with his edible illustration of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty featuring a cannelloni of Ōra King king salmon, Red Hill truffle, finger lime, smoked caviar, bisque and burnt hay.

“As I began to research Spiral Jetty, I was drawn to the pink colour of the Great Salt Lake and the shape of the artwork,” he says.

“I have used elements in this dish to bring the saltiness forward including Himalayan pink salt, sea water and roasted nori enhanced using liquid nitrogen to deliver a fresh salty scent.”

Demagistris impressed the judges with his incorporation of multi-sensory flavours, textures and smells. 

Demagistris plating up his Spiral Jetty-inspired Best Ōra King Dish Australia 2018.

Sydney-based chef and Ōra King Best Dish Australia judge Justin North says, "The dish is very clever and visually stunning. 

"The amount of work, thought, skill and love that went into it is simply outstanding and he deserves the recognition for creating such a wonderful, edible piece of art.”

Demagistris together with finalists Jesse McTavish (North Bondi Fish, Sydney) and 2017 awards winner Bonello (MPD Steak Kitchen, Melbourne) are currently enjoying a culinary tour of Nelson and the Marlborough region with visits to Te Waikoropupu Springs, Kahurangi Ranges and the New Zealand king salmon’s facilities.

The winners of the 2018 Ōra King Best Dish Awards are:

  • Best Ōra King Dish Australia, Michael Demagistris, Polperro Winery, Red Hill
  • Best Ōra King Dish New Zealand, Mark McAllister, Private Chef, Auckland
  • Best Ōra King Dish North America, Jonathan Granada, Otium LA
  • Best Ōra King Dish Japan, Naoki Nagai, RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka