Slice of the good life
One of the best food experiences on the Coromandel Peninsula.
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 www.lukeskitchen.co.nz Find out about Sol Zinc at www.solzinc.com
“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.