The New Zealand Venison Recipe Contest

Attention US-Based chefs, cooks, and culinary professionals: Get ready to experience a taste of New Zealand in our new Venison cooking contest! Register below for a chance to receive a free sample of Denver Leg, then show us how you can transform this amazing product into a prize-winning dish!

Five finalists will be chosen to win a Chef’s Roll Apparel knife roll with two butcher blades from Mercer. Then, one of the five will be chosen to receive the grand prize, a Traeger Pro 780 Wifi Pellet Grill!

Venison has grown in popularity in the last decade, but in this contest, we’re featuring an underutilized cut, the Denver Leg. Venison leg meat is often ignored by cooks because of the belief that it’s tougher than other cuts. However, this only applies to wild game. Farm raised meat is tender, richly flavored, and shines in culinary applications!


  1. Register using the form below by October 30th, 2022.
  2. Sample shipment. 30 chefs will be selected to receive a complimentary sample by November 13, 2022.
  3. Dish creation and submission. Competitors will have until December 4, 2022 to create an original dish and post it on their public Instagram account, tagging @nzvenison and using #nzvenisoncontest
  4. Judging. Judges will review entries and announce finalists on or around December 9th, 2022, and winners on or around December 12, 2022.

Looking for a little inspiration? Watch Chef Mikel Anthony experiment in the Test Kitchen in the video below.


Terms and conditions apply. The full contest rules can be found here.


Five Finalists will be selected. They will each win the following butcher knife pack!

From among the Finalists, One Grand Prize winner will additionally be selected to receive:

Why New Zealand Venison for Foodservice?

Venison is nature’s superpower protein. Low in fat and saturated fat, it’s a source of high-quality protein, so it aids growth and cell repair and helps you feel full for longer. Venison’s high levels of easily absorbed iron are essential for overall health and staving off anemia and fatigue – and venison contains more iron than beef or lamb. Its rich stores of zinc are important for immunity and brain development, and it’s also a good source of B vitamins, including B12, riboflavin and niacin – all of which are important for sustaining energy levels and boosting immunity throughout the year.

In fact, New Zealand venison is something of a hero meat. Raised in the open pastures of our countryside, in a natural, free-range environment, New Zealand venison is free from hormones or steroids, so you can feel good about putting it in your body.

Plus, because Kiwi deer farmers have such a strong focus on sustainable farming practices, you’re doing the right thing for the planet, too. We love venison in this elegant celebration dish, perfect for a shared meal over summer. But it’s easy to cook in a variety of ways. As a naturally lean meat, venison requires no trimming before cooking, so it’s great for quick meals on the go.

Click here for full rules

Images courtesy Chef’s Roll and New Zealand Venison