Chefs chime in on their favourite din­ing places

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By SUE FEA

High pro­file Queen­stown five-star chef Ben Bat­ter­bury stars in a unique in­ter­na­tional in­sider’s guide to eat­ing out from the ex­pert’s per­spec­tive. Bri­tish pub­lisher Phaidon went straight to the mouths of 400 top chefs – the best palates on the planet – to com­pile ‘‘Where Chefs Eat’’ – a com­pre­hen­sive guide book to 2000 of the world’s best eater­ies. Bat­ter­bury, him­self a Brit, is one of a hand­ful of New Zealand chefs, in­clud­ing Al Brown, Michael Mered­ith and Be­van Smith, hand­picked for their opin­ions and one of only two in the South Is­land. The Rees Ho­tel’s True South Din­ing Room ex­ec­u­tive chef filled out a sur­vey last year an­swer­ing ques­tions 0n ev­ery­thing from his favourite late night food spot and bargain meal to his ‘‘lo­cal favourite’’ and the restau­rant he would travel any dis­tance to eat at. ‘‘The book came out last week and it was so long ago that I’d for­got­ten all about it,’’ Bat­ter­bury said. He was pleas­antly sur­prised and very hon­oured to dis­cover that his opin­ions were star­ring along­side some of the world’s top chefs. Fish­bone Bar & Grill was Bat­ter­bury’s ‘‘lo­cal favourite’’ for its ‘‘good qual­ity, hon­est and con­sis­tent food in a good at­mos­phere’’ – a ‘‘lively joint where the in­te­rior decor was as sparklingly fresh as the cel­e­brated seafood they serve’’. Atlas Beer Cafe was his favourite late night spot. ‘‘That’s my so­cial haven – my es­cape from re­al­ity - for a quiet beer af­ter work.’’ The place he fre­quented most of­ten was Kappa Sushi – ‘‘the best Ja­panese food in town’’. Nat­u­rally Queen­stown’s leg­endary Ferg­burger got the big tick from Bat­ter­bury. Mered­ith rec­om­mended MasterChef Josh Emett’s new Rata Restau­rant. Queen­stown came out tops with 13 restau­rants and cafes named, closely be­hind Auck­land with 19 chef’s favourites. Other top lo­cal eater­ies named in the book in­cluded: @thai, Sol­era Vino, Yak­i­tori Daruma, Am­is­field Bistro, Hikari Iza­kaya, The Bunker, The Cow and Vudu Cafe and Larder. Fed­eral Diner was the only Wanaka restau­rant to make the cut.

Photo: SUE FEA 627547108

Top nosh: Queen­stown five-star chef Ben Bat­ter­bury, cen­tre, tucks into de­li­cious floun­der at his ‘‘lo­cal favourite’’ Fish­bone Bar & Grill served by co-own­ers Mark God­den, left, and Dar­ren Lovell.

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