Rachel Priestly, owner and creator of The Prodigal Daughter and the terrific La Pancetta restaurant in Greytown, won one of eight category awards at the recent inaugural Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2017.

Rachel, who returned from Italy to her hometown of Wellington in 2011 missed the flavours of Italian cuisine so much she started making Italian sausages. They were such a success she relocated to Martinborough two years later and launched The Prodigal Daughter combining small-scale production of authentic salami (cured meats) with the importation of Italian food and wine. 

Since moving to the Wairarapa, Rachel has forged a great partnership with Longbush Pork and makes pancetta, prosciutto and other mouthwatering delicacies which can be sampled at La Pancetta, the restaurant she opened in an historic Greytown cottage in 2015. Her award for the Outstanding NZ Producer in the Paddock Crafted category was for The Prodigal Daughter’s Spicy Sicilian Sausages. The awards were held in Auckland after a panel of 10 expert food judges tasted more than 150 products from 82 growers, farmers and crafted producers in early March 2017 at the Fresh Factory in Auckland.