Hawke's Bay people will get the chance to sample original meals made with local produce from 37 cafes and restaurants throughout the region when Signature Dish launches on Friday.
Organisers Food Hawke's Bay were delighted with the hospitality industry's response to an event which has become a must-do on every food lover's calendar.
Following feedback from last year a few changes have been made, including tightening criteria for chefs to ensure food was Hawke's Bay grown or produced.
"It is an integral part of the competition, ensuring we are really showcasing our food producers and abundance of produce in Hawke's Bay," Food Hawke's Bay general manager Jane Libby said.
"Most of the Hawke's Bay chefs are pretty good at supporting 'local' anyway, but sometimes it takes this event to spark a few of them into researching what we have on offer."
This year there would be three categories for diners each with their own price point - people could pick up a meal and beverage for under $40 in the casual category, a meal and beverage under $25 in the cafe category or a meal and beverage for over $40 in the formal category.
Another new feature was a section which challenged the public to create their own signature dish, using five local ingredients, available from the Hawke's Bay Farmers' Market.
The public could have their say on each dish and its accompanying beverage match by filling out a voting form and posting it in a box provided at participating restaurants to enter a draw to win some fantastic prizes.
"This year the prize pool for the public is the best it's ever been, with three options on offer," Ms Libby said. "Total Food Equipment are supplying a Kitchenaid Mixer to the value of $995, [there are] Hawke's Bay Farmers' Market gift vouchers to the value of $1200, or a private dinner for six people cooked in your home by one of the winning Signature Dish chefs."
The event was made possible because of support from sponsors with two new names backing Signature Dish this year - Total Food Equipment and Think Photography.
Total Food Equipment owner Mike McLay felt Signature Dish was a good fit for his business and was keen to get on board.
"We have always closely followed the Signature Dish and each year the competition seems to get bigger and better. As big supporters of foodies and the chefs out there we are excited to be involved this year."
Think Photography's Carolyn Robertson welcomed the chance to learn more about the local "food community".
The Signature Dish event begins on Friday and runs until October 16. Results will be announced during a cocktail function at the Hawke's Bay Opera House on October 23.