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Skycity Announces Culinary Coup

Tuesday 16 November 2004

Skycity Announces Culinary Coup - Dine By Peter Gordon

Internationally renowned chef and arguably New Zealand's highest profile international culinary celebrity, Peter Gordon, is to open a new signature restaurant at SKYCITY Auckland next year (2005).

Dine by Peter Gordon was announced today at a media launch event at SKYCITY Auckland. The restaurant is a significant investment that is currently under construction and will open in April 2005, with the new five-star SKYCITY Grand Hotel.

Peter Gordon is perhaps best known for his involvement in setting up the Sugar Club (in both Wellington and London) and The Providores restaurant in London. He is acknowledged as founder of the fusion food movement, for his charity works, numerous best selling cookbooks as well as his international media activity.
Heather Shotter, SKYCITY Group GM Marketing and New Zealand Operations, says SKYCITY is thrilled that Peter Gordon will manage the company’s new premium restaurant.

"SKYCITY is continually evolving and enhancing our offerings to meet customer demands. This exciting new development will further broaden the appeal of our entertainment mix.

"We're confident Dine by Peter Gordon will be well received and that the complementary combination of the new restaurant with our five star hotel and new convention centre, will become a draw-card for the discerning local dining market as well as international visitors," says Ms Shotter.

The restaurant has been designed by Tom Skyring with guidance by Peter Gordon. Skyring is widely recognised as New Zealand's leading restaurant and bar designer, responsible for the design of SKYCITY's Bar3 and Euro, Pasha, George and Ottos in central Auckland City, to name a few.

With seating capacity for up to 70 people, Dine by Peter Gordon will feature large ceilings and predominance of white tones contrasted with dark aged leather seating, stained wooden floors and a marble bar and large marble fireplace. Seating will be on various levels and there will be what Skyring terms "unexpected finishes" such as hand-made rice paper and hand finished plaster to create a truly unique experience. There will also be a private dining room for groups of up to 16 as well as an intimate arrival lounge suitable for pre-dinner drinks.

Wanganui born Peter Gordon says he has long welcomed a personal involvement in a sophisticated dining establishment in his home country, New Zealand.

"I love returning home and now it's great to have another reason to do so at more regular intervals," says Peter Gordon.

Mr Gordon says his involvement began when he was approached by SKYCITY while at the Craggy Range Vineyard launch in Hawkes Bay in 2002.

"I had previously been a judge at an H.S.I (Hospitality Standards Institute) award celebration and was impressed then with SKYCITY's training programme for apprentice chefs. On taking a closer look into their operation, I decided that as the country's largest food and beverage operator, SKYCITY has the breadth and quality of skilled kitchen staff from which I am confident I can select a team to train up to work to my particular style and standard."

Gordon says he is keen to look at video conferencing training methods, which he could implement from his base in London, while away from New Zealand, to assist in the training programme. He has also confirmed he will be taking some of the key kitchen staff back to London with him to train in the build-up to the opening of Dine by Peter Gordon over the coming months.

As the restaurant's self- titled name suggests, Peter Gordon will have significant influence overseeing the entire operation.

"My involvement began in 2003 by providing input into the design of the restaurant. Now, five months away from opening, we are starting the recruitment process and from that, follows an intensive training programme for key kitchen and front-of-house staff and of course the development and implementation of the menus.”

He says the food will be similar in overall appearance and in taste to that of The Providores restaurant which he is co-owner of in London.

"I call it fusion cuisine - this is food that is very complex in the grouping of many different ingredients which combine to complement one another perfectly. Fusion food blends ethnic, Asian and pacific flavours with traditional European cuisine.”

This, he says, is a style that can only be professionally practiced with years of experimentation with food and wine.

"I like to use rare and often organic produce and meat products and I see this as perhaps being the biggest challenge for me in opening a restaurant in New Zealand - to find ways to secure the range of ingredients and produce that I have become accustomed to in Europe," he says.

Gordon is currently co-owner of The Providores restaurant in London and a consultant for both Public in New York and Changa in Turkey. He continues to be one of the original shareholders in Britain's gourmet burger kitchen, which he was also instrumental in setting up.

In 1986 his international career was launched when he set up and ran the kitchen at The Sugar Club in Wellington - where his style of fusion food was born. The Sugar Club was a huge success, eventually relocating to London in 1996. Peter helped move the restaurant into London's Soho district in 1998 before standing down as head chef in 1999.

Gordon has no other affiliated eating establishment in New Zealand other than Dine by Peter Gordon. It is intended that Dine by Peter Gordon, will be open seven days for both lunch and dinner when it opens in 2005.


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