Slow roasted

You haven’t tasted lamb un­til you’ve tried one from Pe­dro’s House of Lamb.

Go Travel New Zealand - - Queenstown -

As culi­nary experiences go you could say Pe­dro’s House Of Lamb has bro­ken the mould. In a world of com­plex menus, de­gus­ta­tions and var­i­ous cross cul­ture fusion dishes, Pe­dro’s have kept it sim­ple, re­ally sim­ple by serv­ing just one dish.

The dish, as their name sug­gests, is lamb. A whole lamb shoul­der slow roasted to ten­der per­fec­tion. Made with lo­cally sourced New Zealand lamb, mar­i­nated with garlic and rose­mary and served with a side of scal­loped pota­toes. The take­away only dish has proven a hit with lo­cals and tourists alike. As a con­cept, Pe­dro’s House Of Lamb, is a world away from where Pe­dro’s started.

Pe­dro’s House Of Lamb was es­tab­lished by vet­eran restauranteurs of the Christchurch din­ing scene, Pe­dro Carazo and Iñaki Sanchez. The duo pre­vi­ously owned Pe­dro’s Restau­rant which, up un­til the Christchurch Earth­quake, was one of the old­est restau­rants in Christchurch.

Es­tab­lished in 1980, after Pe­dro Carazo im­mi­grated to New Zealand, the restau­rant was sit­u­ated in the heart of the city. Pe­dro’s Restau­rant

was a Christchurch din­ing in­sti­tu­tion renowned for serv­ing only the best tra­di­tional Span­ish dishes.

Carazo was joined in 1992 by his nephew Iñaki Sanchez to­gether they con­tin­ued to build on the suc­cess of Pe­dro’s Restau­rant. Sanchez cred­its the suc­cess of Pe­dro’s Restau­rant to the fresh in­gre­di­ents, vi­brant Span­ish at­mos­phere and the big per­son­al­i­ties of his un­cle.

It was a fam­ily busi­ness with a heart, and it would have stayed that way, but on Fe­bru­ary 22 2011 ev­ery­thing changed. The Christchurch Earth­quake de­stroyed Christchurch’s CBD, Pe­dro’s Restau­rant in­cluded.

Los­ing the busi­ness was heart­break­ing, but the earth­quake took a per­sonal toll too. Both busi­ness part­ners lost their homes and most dev­as­tat­ing of all was the loss of Carazo’s much loved son Chris­tian. It’s an un­der­state­ment to say it was a lot to come back from. But they did.

For an out­sider it’s hard to imag­ine the im­pact the earth­quake had on Christchurch. The en­tire CBD was in­ac­ces­si­ble for months forc­ing busi­nesses out into the sub­urbs. Even now six years later the de­mo­li­tion of con­demned build­ings con­tin­ues.

This vastly changed landscape meant busi­nesses needed to adapt and evolve. Busi­ness own­ers were forced to come up with cre­ative so­lu­tions to a raft of un­prece­dented prob­lems.

For Carazo and Sanchez, the ini­tial plan was to re­open the restau­rant on the same site. But a re­vised City Plan put an end to that dream, by des­ig­nat­ing the area as a green space mov­ing for­ward. They found them­selves in a sit­u­a­tion that re­quired an in­no­va­tive ap­proach, which is when they de­vel­oped Pe­dro’s House Of Lamb. Op­er­at­ing out of a mod­u­lar con­tainer, lo­cated in a car park in the sub­urb of Merivale, Carazo and Sanchez started cook­ing again.

They turned a much loved (and award win­ning) dish from Pe­dro’s Restau­rant, Paletilla al Horno (whole lamb shoul­der

baked with rose­mary, garlic and served with a side of scal­loped pota­toes), into a pre­mium take­away prod­uct. The con­cept proved a suc­cess and they haven’t looked back since.

In July 2014, the duo teamed up with Damian Brown to open Pe­dro’s House Of Lamb Queen­stown, a bricks and mor­tar presence this time. The di­rec­tors thought Queen­stown rep­re­sented a good op­por­tu­nity to test the busi­ness model in a new town. It was a big step into a dif­fer­ent mar­ket of pre­dom­i­nantly tourists, and with­out the safety net of the cus­tomer base who had fre­quented Pe­dro’s Restau­rant.

For Sanchez the ra­tio­nal was easy, New Zealand lamb is amongst the best in the world and is on the “to ex­pe­ri­ence” list of nu­mer­ous tourists. The com­pany di­rec­tors were con­fi­dent that they had a con­cept that would work any­where. And that con­fi­dence has paid off, since open­ing in Queen­stown, Pe­dro’s House Of Lamb has be­come a must-do on the culi­nary list of thou­sands of tourists.

Four years since open­ing in a con­tainer in Christchurch, Pe­dro’s House Of Lamb, has shown no signs of slow­ing down. They opened their third branch (sec­ond in Christchurch) in De­cem­ber last year, and will open their fourth branch in Auck­land by April this year. Prov­ing that keep­ing it sim­ple is a win­ning for­mula.

You’ll find Pe­dro’s House Of Lamb at:

Christchurch

17B Pa­panui Road, Merivale Unit D, 290 Colombo Street, Sy­den­ham

Queen­stown

47 Gorge Road (Cnr Hal­len­stein Street)

Auck­land - COM­ING SOON

4 Wil­liamsons ave, Grey Lynn

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