In the middle of December, an exciting international competition “Local food of Latgale region and Utena district” took place in frame of the project “Local foods”. The aim of the competition was to choose the best dishes in three categories (soup, main course, dessert) made from local ingredients (min.70%).
The competition took place both in Latgale region in Latvia and Utena district in Lithuania. Any company in the catering sector of Latgale region (LV) and Utena region (LT) (restaurant, cafe, guest house, etc.) that uses local raw materials for preparing a specific dish could participate in it.
Representatives of 11 catering companies applied for the competition in Latgale: holiday house “Sidari” (Kraslava region), museum “Andrupenes rural farm” (Kraslava region), hotel “Piedruja” (Kraslava region), Lielborne manor (Augšdaugava region), restaurant “Rozālija” Rēzekne), SIA “Intolia” (Ludza), cafe “Rudzupuķes” (Augšdaugava district), Aglona bread museum (Preiļi district), SIA “Lucia” (Ludza), guest house “Mežinieku mājas” (Preiļi district), recreation place Beautiful Rāzna ”(Rēzekne region).
In total, Latgale entrepreneurs submitted 28 dishes: 10 of them in the category “Soups”, 11 dishes in the category “Main course” and 7 dishes in the category “Desserts”.
The winners were determined by a commission set up specifically for the competition. It consisted of chef Tomass Godiņš, member of the board of the Latgale Culinary Heritage Center Juta Bubina and Žaneta Moiseja, a representative of the Kraslava Central Library, who also participated in the publication of the Latgale Cookbook.
Each member of the jury received descriptions of the dishes and their photos in electronical format. The evaluators did not know the names of the food applicants, thus creating conditions that allow an objective assessment of the performance of the tenderers.
Winners were determined in each category. Among the ten soups submitted, two dishes received exactly the same number of points, so we honoured both winners. In the category “Soups” 1st place went to Lielborne manor (fried pumpkin cream soup with melted cheese, sour cream, arugula pesto, bacon crispy and seasoned roasted cashew nuts) and Andrupene farmstead (milk soup “Cygana zupa)”.
The 2nd place in this category is shared by the holiday house “Sidari” (warming tomato soup with rye leavened wheat bread) and Lielborne manor (gazpacho with halumi). The restaurant "Rozālija" (pearl pear soup) took the 3rd place.
There was just as much competition in the Main Course category. Hotel "Piedruja" (stuffed pike) won a convincing 1st place in the eleven food competition. According to the evaluation of the commission, the 2nd place went to Andrupene farmstead (potato boats), and the 3rd place to Lielborne manor (crispy quail citrus-honey marinade with carrot-orange puree, Jerusalem artichoke puree, red wine-lingonberry sauce, basil oil and caramelised carrots).
In the category "Desserts", won as traditional and classic, as Andrupene farmstead (Andrupenes kļockas) with the highest number of points, and the holiday house "Sidari" (simple blackcurrant Napoleon) won the 2nd place. The restaurant "Rozālija" (cottage cheese dessert with sea buckthorn sauce) and Lielborne manor (pumpkin-cheese cake tart with dark chocolate, caramelised cinnamon almonds, pumpkin-white chocolate sauce and quince ice cream) took the 3rd place.
Participants received diplomas, certificates of gratitude and commemorative awards for participating in the competition, which highlights the local taste and uniqueness of the region in dishes that combines locally grown ingredients and their modern use.
Thanks to everyone who responded and enthusiastically engaged in this activity!
The competition is organized by the association “Latgale Culinary Heritage Center” in cooperation with the association Euroregion “Land of Lakes” and the Zarasai branch of the Lithuanian Farmers' Union, implementing project No.LLI-416 “Development of local food production and supply support system in Utena-Latgale cross-border region” (LOCAL FOODS) co-financed by the European Union Interreg VA Latvia-Lithuania Cross-Border Cooperation Program 2014-2020.