Firestarter THE

Nic Watt has re­turned to his home­land from a stel­lar ca­reer in Lon­don as chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of highly re­garded Ja­panese restau­rant groups, Zuma and Roka. In the new year he is to open a con­tem­po­rary Ja­panese Ro­bata restau­rant in SKYCITY’s Fed­eral St

Element - - Christmas with the stars -

In my new restau­rant guests will be seated around an open kitchen with the chefs and bar­tenders in full view of din­ers. The Ro­bata prin­ci­ple in­volves cook­ing over open char­coal. The bar will host lo­cal and sea­son­ally fresh fruit in­fused sake and shochu. The phi­los­o­phy thread run­ning through the en­tire menu is to source lo­cally and sus­tain­ably wher­ever pos­si­ble. Sourc­ing and for­ag­ing for the fresh­est in­gre­di­ents is a per­sonal choice. My own phi­los­o­phy is to keep in touch with lo­cal pro­duc­ers as much as pos­si­ble to en­sure what I use is fresh and in sea­son. Sourc­ing sus­tain­able pro­duce ex­tends to my per­sonal use too – out­side a restau­rant kitchen. I look for qual­ity in­gre­di­ents that are grown lo­cally and I en­deav­our to sup­port lo­cal ar­ti­sans as much as pos­si­ble. I buy free-range wher­ever I can. In terms of fish, I go for fish that is farmed sus­tain­ably, not wild-caught. We rely on aqua­cul­ture in to­day’s world in or­der not to de­plete marine life. The aqua­cul­ture pro­duc­ers we have in New Zealand are world-lead­ing in their ap­proach to sus­tain­abil­ity.

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