2017 Participant: Fleur's Place & Aberdeen

Otago

Plate of Origin Dish and Hero Ingredients Purple Maori potatoes & Clams

Fleur’s Place

Fleur Sullivan’s “Fleur’s Place“, is located in the fishing village of Moeraki, 20 minutes south of Oamaru. Built from gathered collectables and demolition materials from all over New Zealand, Fleur established her seafood-centric restaurant, café and bar right on the waterfront in a charming village in 2002 on an early whaling station site. Their specialty is fresh fish straight from Moeraki Bay fishing boats.

Fleur’s specializes in simple elegant seafood dishes using only the freshest local seasonal produce. In fact, the menu is based on whatever seafood the local fisherman have caught that day and unloaded on the wharf right beside the restaurant. Aside from that, regional organic growers supply most of the other ingredients, including heritage and unique New Zealand vegetable varieties.

New Zealand’s foodie bible Cuisine Magazine rates Fleur’s Place as one of the ‘100 best things about New Zealand’.

CHEF | Fleur Sullivan

Fleur Sullivan made her reputation in Central Otago where she established Oliver’s Restaurant. She has received numerous awards for her restaurants as well as in recognition for her contribution to tourism, and is a member of the NZ Restaurant Association’s prestigious Hall of Fame.

Fleur’s deep understanding of New Zealand produce and her commitment to using it over imported goods has helped earn her a reputation as one of our country’s top restaurateurs. The vision she has had throughout her 40-year culinary career, and continues to have, appears quite simply in her top-quality fresh local food, cooked well and served in a fantastic setting by people offering conviviality and warm hospitality.

ABERDEEN

Centred in the hub of Broadway Avenue, Palmerston North, Aberdeen is located in one of Palmerston North’s historic buildings. Aberdeen is the perfect setting for fine dining or a relaxed social occasion. A combination of the finest contemporary cuisine, an extensive wine list, ambience, and exceptional service gives Aberdeen on Broadway the leading edge. Aberdeen serves award winning AngusPure beef, which is simply in a league of its own. AngusPure is the only beef to have won the prestigious ‘Steak of Origin’ award five consecutive years (2004-2009). However, not only is the unbeatable taste of succulent mouth-watering AngusPure on offer but Aberdeen also specialise in a range of tantalising seasonal cuisine dishes cooked to perfection.

CHEF | Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson started as a kitchen hand at the bathhouse (now Aberdeen) when he was 16 years old, working there for over 4 years. After becoming the sous chef, Craig worked at Dejuner, before spending 10 years in Sydney restaurants. After gaining a wealth of experience, Craig the moved back to Palmerston North’s Aberdeen as the Head Chef. Craig’s food is modern European, which has seen him win beef and lamb awards in 2014, 2015 and 2016, as well as being the runner up for chef of the year 2014. Craig has an obvious passion for food, and a love for creating new dishes.

There are many examples of Otago’s produce being successful on the national and international stage, for instance the offshore cold sea currents allow fishing fleet access to deep sea species such as Blue Cod, arguably the best eating fish, and squid. Little Neck Clams and Queens Scallops are harvested in the Otago Harbour and exported to internationally renowned restaurants in Boston, New York, Singapore and Malaysian. You can also just dig them out yourself! Otago also has access to the finest merino meat and milk products, used by local cheese producers, such as the award winning Whitestone Cheese Co. in Oamaru.  This historic town, with its atmospheric Victorian Precinct alive with cafes and restaurants, is on the doorstep of one of New Zealand’s newest wine regions, the Waitaki Valley.

With a heritage of Chinese settlement and market gardens the Otago Farmers Market, held weekly next to the Dunedin Railway Station, is well supplied with seasonal produce; specialties are root vegetables with the colder winter climate, yams, parsnips, pumpkin as well as leeks. Dunedin is one of the only cities in the world where you can fish for Salmon in the city. Locally smoked salmon and pate’s and other products are a favourite at the market and the local fare is  also readily available to try at one of the many restaurants in the central city Octagon or other city precincts.  Both Dunedin and Oamaru have a lively local craft beer industry, and their inhabitants are also spoilt for choice in locally roasted and blended coffees. The regions produce is a perfect foil for the diverse and spectacular landscapes and unique wildlife species appreciated by locals and visitors alike.