Community News

From the Newsroom

Peter Nicholson: “Our first Australian Champion trophy and Gold medal was in 2006 at the Sydney Royal, this most recent Champion Trophy is the 17th in 15 years.” Image: Contributed

Food artisan back on the winner’s list

Geoff Helisma

Multi award-winning, Yamba fine food manufacturer Peter Nicholson hasn’t entered his creations in shows around Australia for about four years – but that changed recently when his Spiced Beetroot Finishing Vinegar took out the champion trophy at the recent Royal Tasmanian Fine Food Awards.

The Independent chatted with him about his re-entry into shows.

GH: It’s been a while since you have entered your foods into shows, what prompted you to do that again?

PN: I received an email not long before entries closed and I acted upon it quickly; so I shipped the samples via Australia Post down to Hobart. I was very nervous because I sent them air express and it took longer than I thought. The samples arrived on the day of judging.

GH: So the beetroot vinegar has proved to be a winner again?

PN: Yes, it has won six Sydney Royal Australian Champion trophies and probably about 10 gold medals.

GH: What do you think the win means for people purchasing the vinegar?

PN: I’d love to think that people recognise the quality that we have built into this product and everything else that we’ve done over the past 15 years. But, in reality, people will forget it fairly quickly. (laughs)

GH: Why do you keep entering the same thing?

PN: That’s a fair question. We know it’s good and we know it is a wonderful addition to someone’s pantry and on their food.

GH: What food would I put it on?

PN: Vanilla bean ice cream (laughs) and I implore you to try it.

GH: But what do you use it on?

PN: Salad, that’s the obvious one; steamed vegetables, pasta…

GH: Were you joking about the ice cream?

PN: No I was not. It compliments sweet and savoury foods; and on vanilla bean ice cream it is extraordinary.

GH: Does it need special beetroots?

PN: They need to be slightly larger than a tennis ball and they need to have tops and be grown, preferably, in volcanic soil.

The Independent can report that the vinegar is ‘extraordinary’, after having a taste test with the ice cream; perhaps the unexpected combination is similar to how salt or chilli is blended with chocolate.

Mr Nicholson won two gold (Spiced Beetroot Finishing Vinegar and Habanero Chilli Hot Drops), one silver (Habanero Chilli Honey) and two bronze (Mustard Lovers Hot Mustard Dressing and Mustard Lovers Premium Cold Pressed Mustard Infused Organic Olive Oil) medals across his entries into the show.