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Chameleon Changes Into Autumn Colours

10 April 2006

Chameleon Changes Into Autumn Colours

Jason Flygenring, Chameleon’s Chef de Cuisine at InterContinental Hotel, Wellington, serves up Apple-glazed Pork and Rosemary sausages with creamy garlic and potato puree, on the award winning restaurant’s new autumn menu. Hand-crafted and made in-house at Chameleon, three different varieties of speciality sausages feature on the menu, which also includes fresh takes on other classic dishes and a new, complementary wine list.


As a chameleon changes its colours, so too does the menu at Chameleon, the award-winning restaurant at Wellington’s InterContinental Hotel. This month Chameleon turns autumnal, with new season’s fare created by Chef de Cuisine Jason Flygenring, that is guaranteed to ease the bite of Wellington’s cooler temperatures.

It’s a balanced and diverse menu full of autumn colour, comforting flavours and stylish design. The palette of dishes created by Jason and his Chameleon team uses the luscious colours and tastes of plum, white chocolate, beetroot, pear, citrus, muscatel, walnut, ginger and smoked oyster. And a new autumn wine list complements the change in menu.

“My passion is to design and cook a menu that presents the freshest seasonal ingredients in the best way possible,” says Jason. “My style is clean and uncomplicated so the flavours and textures shine through and marry well together in each dish. In a hotel where both casual visitors and guests dine, the menu should balance the familiar with the adventurous in a sophisticated but not intimidating way.”

The autumn menu features new takes on classic favourites, such as Beef Tenderloin with earthy wild mushrooms and béarnaise sauce. The Lamb Saddle - a less conventional cut - is paired with puy lentils, root vegetables and mushrooms. However Jason has also tamed some unusual ingredients for advantageous diners to try –such yellow beetroot and kowiniwini, a Maori potato. He has kept popular light dishes on the menu such as Caesar Salad and Salt n’ Pepper Calamari.

Everything at Chameleon is made in-house, including the Chicken Boudin-Blanc, a type of sausage that accompanies the Asian-influenced, Citrus-scented Duck breast.

Another winner is the handmade Apple-glazed Pork and Rosemary Sausages, served on a delicious creamy garlic and potato puree with a shallot jus.

“This is lip-smacking comfort food and perfect for the time of year,” he says. “Such a classic dish as bangers n’ mash is always a favourite with customers when the weather gets cooler. We’ve fine-tuned these sausages so they are hearty without being too heavy, and given them a distinct flavour and texture - something that commercially produced sausages simply don’t offer.”

A personal touch is Jason’s great-auntie’s beetroot chutney, which finds its way on to the menu alongside the Duck Parfait entrée. “It’s a surprisingly wonderful taste combination that brings out the earthy, rich qualities of the ingredients,” he says. “It very much reflects my approach to food: uncomplicated yet sophisticated styling; but with a taste of home.”

Other taste sensations include Potato and Ginger Tortellini, which accompanies Rare-Seared Venison, with cashew pistou and fragrant herb salad.

For those with a sweet tooth, there’s a makeover for the classic brulee, served as a Citrus Brulee Tart with lemon curd ice-cream and Valencia orange salad. True autumn flavours abound in the Slow Roasted Tamarillo Mille-Fueille paired with a Vanilla Crème and Plum Sorbet, and in the Pear and Macadamia Pudding.

Chameleon offers a nine-course Degustation menu that can be savoured over two to three hours and wine-matched, if desired. Groups of up to 20 don’t have to miss out, with a set menu selection from the autumn lunch and dinner menus.


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