Cafe chat

The Press - Zest - - Eat - By Ab­bie Napier

The death of chef and owner Martin Weiss late last year sadly saw Rother­hams of Ric­car­ton close. It has now been sold and is be­ing re­fit­ted and re­branded as Ric­car­ton Bar and Kitchen. Masterchef 2012 con­tes­tant Matt Gil­ray has stepped up to the plate at the restau­rant’s gen­eral man­ager. Gil­ray has been work­ing in Mar­garet River in Western Aus­tralia as a win­ery man­ager, but the op­por­tu­nity to sink his teeth into a new project was too good to refuse. Gil­ray, a Christchurch butcher at the time of his ap­pear­ance in Masterchef was one of six fi­nal­ists be­fore he was elim­i­nated. The open­ing date of Ric­car­ton Bar and Kitchen will be re­vealed any day soon.



Put your sum­mer gar­den ef­forts in the pub­lic eye and en­ter your prize toma­toes in the Opawa Farm­ers Mar­ket Tomato Fes­ti­val. The fes­ti­val is on this Sun­day, March 9, when as well as judg­ing, the whole mar­ket turns tomato for a day and of­fers up unique tomato-re­lated pro­duce. Prizes are awarded for heav­i­est and tasti­est toma­toes, with judg­ing by Richard Till and The Press gar­den­ing edi­tor Mary Lovell­Smith. Ev­ery en­try costs $2 with pro­ceeds go­ing to The South­ern Seed Ex­change. For the tasti­est com­pe­ti­tion, judges will need to taste, so make sure you bring enough for ev­ery­one. Reg­is­tra­tion 9.30am-10.15am, fol­lowed by judg­ing, 275 Fifield Tce.


Chillingworth Road restau­rant on Cran­ford St is of­fer­ing an­other din­ing op­tion for its cus­tomers. Chillingworth Bistro – in the bar/ cof­fee and cook school area at the en­trance to the es­tab­lish­ment - will op­er­ate separately from the main restau­rant and will open Tues­day to Satur­day, 5.30-9pm, from March 11. The menu will fea­ture $25 mains, a range of desserts and en­trees and will change fre­quently. The bistro will be com­pletely sep­a­rate from the main din­ing room where fine din­ing is the rule.


Gar­den City 2.0 has con­firmed more lo­ca­tions for pick­ing up its FoodBags. The bags of lo­cal pro­duce will be avail­able for pickup from Merivale and from Lower Cash­mere/Hoon Hay from March 11. The new lo­ca­tions add to the project’s ac­ces­si­bil­ity and al­lows more of us to buy lo­cal. Find Gar­den City 2.0 on Face­book.


Some­times we get a lit­tle wrapped up in our­selves. Some­times, it’s great to do some­thing small for some­one else. Pure Cafe Co is the lat­est Christchurch cafe to sign up for Sus­pended Cof­fee. The idea is, when you pay for your cof­fee, you also pay for an­other. The ex­tra cof­fee is added to a list. If some­one then comes along and is in need of a free cof­fee, they can ask for one of the cof­fees al­ready paid for by some­one else – no ques­tions asked. Need­i­ness is not re­ally de­fined. You don’t have to be home­less to qual­ify, it is for any­one – pay day might be a bit far away or maybe cof­fee just isn’t in your budget. No judg­ment, it’s just a nice lit­tle way to pay it for­ward.Pure is at 100 Bealey Ave and 31 Birm­ing­ham Dr.


Otahuna Lodge is of­fer­ing a unique op­por­tu­nity dur­ing the colder months with its Lord of the Manor pack­ages. Groups of 10 – in­clud­ing the one who wishes to be lord – will have Otahuna Lodge and grounds to them­selves and en­joy lux­ury ac­com­mo­da­tion, pre-din­ner drinks, canapes, a five­course din­ner with match­ing wines, and break­fast next morn­ing. Lord of the Manor pack­ages ($5995 a night) are avail­able May to Septem­ber. Ideal for birth­day cel­e­bra­tions, cor­po­rate events or any in­di­vid­ual won­der­ing what it would be like to be a knight of old in charge of all he sur­veys. More on Lord of the Manor at

New­role: Matt Gil­ray takes on Ric­car­ton Bar and Kitchen.

Of all you sur­vey: Be Lord of the Manor at Otahuna Lodge. Ideal for cel­e­bra­tions and cor­po­rate events.

The best: Toma­toes will be tested to find the tasti­est and heav­i­est.

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