Chef to take Kiwi kai to the world

WELL DONE: The Rees general manager Mark Rose (left) toasts the success of Flavours of New Zealand with his executive chef Ben Batterbury, who will showcase New Zealand to 80 high profile guests in New York.
WELL DONE: The Rees general manager Mark Rose (left) toasts the success of Flavours of New Zealand with his executive chef Ben Batterbury, who will showcase New Zealand to 80 high profile guests in New York.

An award-winning British chef from Queenstown has been invited to showcase some classy Kiwi kai in New York this month.

The Rees hotel's True South Dining Room executive chef Ben Batterbury has cooked up a storm in triple rosette restaurants around the United Kingdom, but it is the Flavours of New Zealand that he will be using to tantalise American tastebuds with, on May 19. Mr Batterbury will cook for restaurateurs, high profile chefs, media personalities, food writers, and food-related television show producers at the prestigious James Beard Foundation, a US non-profit culinary institution in New York.

The Rees general manager Mark Rose said it was a coup to have the foundation make room for Mr Batterbury to showcase New Zealand food, and the hotel had partnered with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and New Zealand food producers to make it work.

He would prepare an NZTE-sponsored four-course lunch hosted by the New Zealand Consul-General Paul Gestro for about 50 people, as well as a six-course fundraising dinner hosted by the foundation for 80 guests.

Kiwi wine expert Jesse Webster, of New York's AvroKO Hospitality Group, would be the wine speaker, addressing the top selection of New Zealand wines, some from Central Otago, that would accompany Mr Batterbury's menu.

Featured on the menu will be everything from cured New Zealand king salmon with pickled rhubarb, vanilla and avocado to Southland's highly acclaimed Blue River Curio Bay pecorino with jazz apple, as well as lamb and cervena.

"Ben will take guests on a culinary journey across New Zealand. They'll be a top influential bunch coming ... it's a real New Zealand thing and all the food producers have bought into it so quickly ... it's a great thing for NZInc," Mr Rose said.

He would accompany Mr Batterbury to New York tomorrow where it would be all hands on deck to showcase the best New Zealand had to offer.

Several Kiwi chefs working in New York had also volunteered their time to help in the kitchen.

The Southland Times