Slice of the good life

One of the best food ex­pe­ri­ences on the Coro­man­del Penin­sula.

Paula Style - - Destination -

Welove it when tal­ented peo­ple find a way to build a busi­ness around their pas­sion. Lukas Reilly is one of those peo­ple. His busi­ness, Luke’s Kitchen, is a tasty ex­am­ple of how you can mix en­tre­pre­neur­ial urges with a fab­u­lous lifestyle. Lukas is the surfer you can see in some of our fash­ion im­ages. When he’s not stalk­ing waves, he’s run­ning Luke’s Kitchen – one of the best food ex­pe­ri­ences on the Coro­man­del Penin­sula. The story be­hind his busi­ness is charm­ing. “Orig­i­nally I chose to be­come a chef, be­cause I loved food and it was com­pat­i­ble with surf­ing. I could surf dur­ing the day and work at night. Per­fect! My cheff­ing and surf­ing lifestyle took me to Queen­stown, Samoa, Perth, and around In­done­sia. I loved the Coro­man­del so much I found my­self back here ev­ery year to spend time in Kuao­tunu with my fam­ily, work in a lo­cal restau­rant and en­joy the Coro­man­del sum­mer. Open­ing a lit­tle pop up restau­rant in Kuao­tunu had been of­ten dis­cussed and on the cards for a few years. One spring my Dad called me while I was in Perth and said, “I’ve got you a kitchen, get over here!” The rest is his­tory.” The first ver­sion of Luke’s Kitchen opened in De­cem­ber 2009. It was a car­a­van along­side his fa­ther’s car re­pair busi­ness. Since then the busi­ness has mor­phed and grown to in­clude a wood fired pizza oven and bar, grad­u­ally swal­low­ing up the au­to­mo­tive as­pects of the site. “At one point there was an over­lap of fix­ing cars and food. Dad would be weld­ing away out back as I was run­ning the restau­rant out front. We grew as de­mand grew. A big at­trac­tion is the out­look. We’re lo­cated right on the cor­ner of Black Jack Road in Kuao­tunu Vil­lage and we look out over a re­serve to the ocean. The views are epic, and so are the sun­sets.” The cur­rent it­er­a­tion of Luke’s Kitchen has a tra­di­tional wood­fired pizza oven and a won­der­fully eclec­tic col­lec­tion of fur­ni­ture – in­clud­ing an out­door ta­ble made from a surf­board. The vis­ual ef­fect is some­where be­tween in­dus­trial chic and surfer shack. Lo­cal mu­si­cians pro­vide im­promptu live en­ter­tain­ment when­ever they’re in the mood. But the real draw­card is the menu. “All our seafood is sourced from the Coro­man­del with mus­sels and fresh fish al­ways on the menu. We also try to use as much lo­cal pro­duce as pos­si­ble. Peo­ple love our pizza, seafood chow­der and fresh sal­ads picked from our own gar­den out back. Our cof­fee is lo­cally roasted and we sell lo­cal craft beer too. There’s a mi­cro­brew­ery down the road called Blue Fridge Brew­ery and we’ve had it on tap for the sum­mer . They do a bunch of dif­fer­ent types, in­clud­ing a wheat beer, red ales and a non­al­co­holic ginger beer.” Luke’s part­ner Steph is also man­ag­ing to mix the per­fect lifestyle with busi­ness. An ar­chi­tect who drafts plans for an Aus­tralian firm, she re­cently started a small busi­ness mak­ing Sol Zinc, nat­u­ral or­ganic zinc for the face, a prod­uct aimed at wa­ter sport en­thu­si­asts look­ing for a chem­i­cal free al­ter­na­tive. “We couldn’t find a prod­uct in New Zealand that lasted our surf ses­sions, so Steph de­cided to make it. When you are out in the ocean surf­ing or div­ing, nor­mal sun­screens run into your eyes. Sol Zinc is made with co­conut oil, av­o­cado oil and ca­cao and stays where it is meant to stay.” Check out the menu at Luke’s Kitchen Find out about Sol Zinc at www.solz­

“I’ve got you a kitchen, get over here!” The rest is his­tory.”

Chan­nel the sil­ver screen star­lets from years gone by as you lounge by the pool in the tummy-tam­ing Twist Front Skirt Swim­suit 6209.

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