Top award for Feild­ing’s Amay­jen

Manawatu Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - By MERANIA KARAURIA

It’s busi­ness as usual for An­drew and Jen May’s Feild­ing Amay­jen restau­rant, which was voted the top restau­rant in the Hos­pi­tal­ity Awards.

“It’s pretty good to be recog­nised, and it’s about keep­ing that con­sis­tency and main­tain­ing the stan­dard,” they said.

The Amay­jen stan­dard brought them to the at­ten­tion of judges two years ago when the restau­rant was in the Cui­sine Good Food Top 100 and re­ceived a Hat.

A Hat is based on a points sys­tem and the cou­ple said Lo­gan Brown in Welling­ton and Gas­tron­omy in Napier each re­ceived two Hats, so they felt they had done well to re­ceive one Hat.

The cou­ple, who just cel­e­brated Amay­jen’s fourth birth­day, said the cri­te­ria for in­clu­sion was based on ser­vice, am­bi­ence, drinks list and the food.

“It’s a big pres­sure be­cause you never know who they are and when they are go­ing to visit.

“It will start all over again in Jan­uary through to July when the judges will come to eat.”

Jen said they saw ev­ery cus­tomer as a “judge”, and ev­ery­one re­ceived the same ser­vice.

Orig­i­nally from Palmer­ston North, An­drew trained as a chef at the for­mer Polytech, now Ucol, in Whanganui. He re­turned to the city and worked at the Coach­man be­fore leav­ing for a two to five-year OE.

How­ever, the short stint turned into 18 years and An­drew gained ex­pe­ri­ence in Scot­land, where he met Jen, and South Africa and Europe. He also re­ceived Miche­lin Star ex­pe­ri­ence.

Jen started work­ing in restau­rants as a 14 year old in her home­town of Bleigowrie.

The cou­ple worked in the Moor­field House Ho­tel to­gether, and in 2010 An­drew re­turned home to New Zealand with Jen and a fam­ily of three.

Amay­jen is open Mon­daySatur­day for lunch and din­ner and only for spe­cial events on pub­lic hol­i­days.

An­drew and Jen May’s Amay­jen in Feild­ing was judged top restau­rant in the 2018 Hos­pi­tal­ity Awards and added to their Cui­sine Good Food Top 100 Hat award.

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