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Entries are now open for the New Zealand Gourmet Oil Competition, with New Zealand’s first ever MasterChef winner Brett McGregor joining the judging panel.

Organised by the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association and held in conjunction with the Canterbury A&P Show, the competition celebrates the success, quality and variety of New Zealand’s gourmet oils.

The New Zealand Gourmet Oil Competition, now in its seventh year, is open to New Zealand produced Olive Oil including classes for Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Delicate, Medium and Intense plus classes for Walnut Oil, Hazelnut Oil and Avocado Oil.

Oils will be judged by a panel of independent food industry experts including 2009 MasterChef Brett McGregor, Senior CPIT Tutor of Professional Cookery Bill Bryce, Nik Mavromatis from Mediterranean Food Company plus leading chefs and industry identities Trish Coleman, Chris Fortune and Jonny Schwass.

The aim of the New Zealand Gourmet Oil Competition is to promote to the New Zealand public the quality and variety of oils produced and commercially available in New Zealand.

“On my return to New Zealand there seemed to be an abundance of quality ingredients and our beautiful olive oil is no exception. Fresh, delicious and fruity it now rates with the best from around the world. It is amazing that we have a competitive oil industry that really is still in its infancy”, commented McGregor.

The winner of the 2009 Best In Show, judged best overall from all Gold medal winners, was an Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced by Creekside Olive Estate in Marlborough.

Entries close 5pm Friday 29 October with winners announced on Wednesday 3 November 2010. Winning oils will be on display at the Canterbury A&P Show in the Food & Wine NZ Pavilion.

The Canterbury A&P Show runs from 10-12 November at Canterbury Agricultural Park Christchurch. Attracting on average 110,000 people, over 7000 livestock and feature competition entries and 600 trade exhibitors, plus three full days of entertainment, it is the largest Agricultural and Pastoral Show in the country.