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This is where chefs eat in Queenstown

Author
Vaughan Mabee, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 19 Dec 2021, 2:00pm
Better than eating like a local, eat like a chef in Queenstown. Photo / Destination Queenstown
Better than eating like a local, eat like a chef in Queenstown. Photo / Destination Queenstown

This is where chefs eat in Queenstown

Author
Vaughan Mabee, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 19 Dec 2021, 2:00pm

Eager to know where chefs eat in Queenstown? Vaughan Mabee, Executive Chef at Amisfield Restaurant and Cellar Door, shares his favourite places to wine and dine. 

Vaughan Mabee is the Executive Chef at Amisfield Restaurant and Cellar Door in Queenstown. Photo / Supplied; Amisfield 

The great thing about a lot of restaurants here in Queenstown is that they hero the local produce – so you're getting a lot of Otago on a plate at a variety of places. 

I love eating at Kappa – that's my favourite place to eat in Queenstown. It's really simple, beautiful Japanese cuisine created by a grounded Japanese chef who always makes it a memorable experience. 

I also love going for gin cocktails and mince and cheese croquette pies in the early afternoon at Rodd & Gunn. The food is delicious and consistently great, with Matt Lambert overseeing the menu. 

Some other favourites include Aosta for the amazing Italian wines like the Geja wine. My fiancee and I always have the pāua pappardelle with kina – it's amazing. Slow Cuts in Arrowtown do great burgers. I order the standard burger with a side of jalapenos and wash it down with a beer. Slow Cuts have their own brewery, run by Jay Sherwood. A-Town is my beer of choice, it's an IPA and really good. 

Further afield, The Bannockburn Hotel boasts a unique wine list. It's a great spot with spectacular views over the historical Felton Road Vineyards. The Spanish boquerones en vinagre (Spanish white anchovies) are a must. 

I'd say start the day at Jack's Point. I oversee the kitchen there so I may be biased, but I do think it's the best place for coffee and breakfast – and easily the best view in New Zealand. 

Executive Chef Vaughan Mabee speaks to diners tableside. Photo / Supplied; Amisfield 

At Amisfield, we've recently introduced a new a la carte lunch menu offering diners something other than the traditional set tasting menu. We've built a new fire pit in the courtyard which adds to the theatre of the dining experience as guests can watch their dishes slow cooking over the coals. The menu is designed around the availability of produce and ingredients. 

In addition, and back by popular demand, the award-winning pauā pie makes a return to the Amisfield menu this summer. 

Come evening, there's also a 16-course tasting menu. Guests can soak up the ambience of the Central Otago landscape from either the dining room, outside courtyard or in one of the private glasshouses. 

Check current traffic light settings, vaccine requirements and Ministry of Health advice before travel. covid19.govt.nz 

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