Q&A: Francesca Voza, Wanaka restaurateur

Francesca Voza and chef James Stapley in Wanaka.
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Francesca Voza and chef James Stapley in Wanaka.

Francesca Voza started business in Wanaka with a food truck. Now, she has restaurants in Wanaka, Timaru and Christchurch and she and her business partner, chef James Stapley, are writing a book. And there's more. The Wanaka Mirror tracks Voza down in Italy.

M: Where are you and what are you writing about?

F:  We are in Rome at the moment and have also been to northern Italy and Sardinia. Next we are heading down the Amalfi coast and spending time with my family in Paestum. The idea of the book is to share the Francesca's Italian Kitchen recipes and to also share dishes that have inspired our trip through Italy. We are self publishing and doing this through a kickstarter campaign. Carla Munro from Black Robin Creative in Wanaka is curating the book and we hope it will be released for Christmas . 

M: Tell a little about your Albert Town Tavern fish and chip shop.

Francesca Voza fronts Francescas Italian Kitchen in Christchurch.
EWAN SARGENT/FAIRFAX NZ

Francesca Voza fronts Francescas Italian Kitchen in Christchurch.

F: We have wanted to open a fish and chip shop in Wanaka for a while and feel the location in Albert town is perfect. Growing up by the sea, fish and chips was a Friday treat and something that we miss from home. We will be using fresh fish sourced from the Dunedin and Bluff areas and making hand cut chips along with making our own mushy peas and sauces. Our plan is to open the fish and chip shop takeaway and the sit down fish bar next door in November . 

M: Your Wanaka restaurant Kika was named in Cuisine's top 100 restaurants.

F: We were extremely proud as Cuisine is the most read and well respected food publication in New Zealand. We have had an amazing first year and this is testament to the hard work from all the team .

Kika Restaurant is next to Wanaka's picturesque Bullock Creek.
Marjorie Cook

Kika Restaurant is next to Wanaka's picturesque Bullock Creek.

M: How is expansion of Francesca's Pizzeria going?

F: We Independently own and run them in Wanaka, Christchurch and Timaru. We spend a lot of time travelling between the businesses and work closely with the staff to make sure consistency is achieved across the board.We plan to open another Pizzeria da Francesca in Dunedin at the end of the year. It will be on Lower Stuart Street between Madam Woo and Two Chefs.  

M: You recently moved your food cart from 67 Brownston Street to the car lot down the road. How has that been going? 

F: The move has been great. Our lease expired at 67 Brownston Street as a hotel is being built there soon.The new location is great and I think it's nice to have all the food trucks together in one area and hope we can make small improvements in the next few months to make the place a hub for take away food .

M: How are you enjoying Italy?

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F: We have been travelling around for a week and then heading to my families hotel in Paestum for a week. We will be cooking with the family and hopefully learning some more of the family recipes to bring back to Wanaka. 

 - Stuff

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