Paddock To Plate
New Zealand chefs and consumers are increasingly embracing diverse homegrown produce, with Queenstown’s Saffron restaurant at the forefront of this “quiet revolution” explains Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service. Sourced from the restaurant’s surrounding environs is an extravagant, imaginative menu featuring such delights as risotto of Dunedin coast crayfish, Queen scallops and paua from the Caitlins. In addition to sourcing from local suppliers, Saffron owner Pete Gawron hand-harvests wild produce from the nearby mountains, including snowberries, birch boletus (a fungal relative of porcini) and puffball mushrooms (considered a delicacy in Europe). Gawron is far from the only chef being inspired by native produce. Another is Jason Dell, former executive chef for the exclusive Blanket Bay at Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown and now Corporate Executive Chef for AC2 International, a privately owned hospitality company. “As in many other countries, ‘paddock-to-plate’ is increasingly more common,” says Dell.