May 2018: Taupo restaurant, Bistro Lago is celebrating the country’s finest cheesemakers with a special cheese themed four-course dinner on Thursday 14 June.

Executive Chef, Adrian Walker is one of five of the country’s top chefs creating a special four-course menu in the NZ Cheese Lovers’ Dinner Series. The aim of the Series is to showcase locally crafted cheeses, including many that were recent winners at the 2018 NZ Champion of Cheese Awards.

Adrian says his hope is to illustrate the quality and versatility of locally made cheese. “I think New Zealanders perception is that cheese is only something to be enjoyed before dinner or in a cheeseboard at the end. In reality cheese is a great ingredient and can, when used well, enhance dishes. I’d love to show this to diners.”

“It’s exciting to be working in collaboration with one of the region’s great producers, Over The Moon Dairy. I respect Over The Moon, Sue and the team have great passion and vision and aren’t afraid to try new things. They have so many different styles of cheese that the challenge for me was to show restraint and ensure the cheese works subtly with the other local produce on the menu,” Adrian says.

Multi-award winning cheese producer Sue Arthur of Over The Moon Dairy will join Adrian at the dinner and explain a little about the love which goes into creating fine cheese. Sue, a member of the board of the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association, is celebrating 10 years of cheese making at Over The Moon Dairy, which she founded in 2008. Over The Moon Dairy won the Fonterra Co-operative Group Champion Original Cheese Award with its Over the Moon Southern Cross by Neil Willman at the recent NZ Champion of Cheese Awards.

Adrian is delighted the dinner gives him the opportunity to work with other locally grown produce including Taupo Beef and Lamb who have supplied the lamb rack and shoulder. This will feature in the third course of  Taupo Lamb rack and shoulder, wild wheat, carrot, coriander, Over the Moon Ricotta.

Bistro Lago’s four-course dinner is matched to award-winning wines from Martinborough Vineyard, with one course designed to match a craft beer from Emersons. The four course dinner including a drink with each course is $129 per person.

The NZ Cheesemakers Dinner Series follows the 15th NZ Champions of Cheese Awards, run by the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association. More than 2000 kg of NZ made cheese was assessed by 28 judges supported by 30 stewards on Saturday 24 February at the AUT School of Hospitality and Tourism. They awarded; 23 trophies, 41 gold medals, 66 silver medals and 53 bronze medals to New Zealand cheesemakers.

To whet your appetite here’s the menu:


Martinborough Vineyard Te Tera Pinot Gris

 1st course
Over the Moon Galatic Gold au gratin scampi, crayfish boudin, bisque, tomato.
Emersons Pilsner

Twice cooked Over the Moon Goat’s Curd soufflé, Waikato beets, walnuts, leaves.
Martinborough Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

Taupo lamb rack and shoulder, wild wheat, carrot, coriander, Over the Moon Ricotta.
Martinborough Vineyard Home Block Pinot Noir

Almond cake, pistachio crumb, pear, Over the Moon Jersey Blue ice cream
Martinborough Vineyard Botrytised Riesling

Menu created by executive chef Adrian Walker

To book for the NZ Cheese Lovers’ Dinner at Bistro Lago, call the restaurant on 07 376 2319 or email:

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