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National award recognition for Euro-styled Bezu

Press release: 5 September 2006

National award recognition for Euro-styled Bezu

Culinary newcomer, Queenstown’s Bezu Bar and Restaurant, has been singled out as a National Finalist in two categories of the prestigious 2006 Hospitality Association of New Zealand (HANZ) Awards for Excellence.

The only establishment in Queenstown to be recognised in the national hospitality industry awards scheme, Bezu was named National Finalist in the Best New / Developed Bar Restaurant (Independent) category and finalist in the category; Best Lamb (under $20).

Judges in the Best New / Developed Bar Restaurant (Independent) category were looking for evidence of innovative design, atmosphere, patron satisfaction and how well the establishment blended into the surrounding environment.

Established by experienced New Zealand hospitality operators Frenzi Group, Bezu bears the distinctive stamp of much awarded hospitality designer Tom Skyring, who has created a physical environment to match the simplicity and style of the menu.

General Manager and Head Chef Gary Clarke said that Bezu was designed to bring a totally new experience to Queenstown, delivering a uniquely New Zealand feel to local, national and international clientele.

“Our approach was to present a restaurant that expressed sophistication, without the stiffness of fine dining. Bezu defines itself amongst the best in Queenstown by maintaining a consistently excellent approach, contributing to making the booming Brecon Street area of Queenstown a gastronomic destination in its own right.”

“Bezu is one year old at the end of this month so we still consider ourselves relative newcomers to New Zealand’s restaurant scene. That’s why reaching finalist status is even more rewarding,” said Mr Clarke.

Frenzi Group director and Queenstown resident Roy Thompson said opening a new style of restaurant in a crowded market was a challenging business.

“We are delighted to be recognised at this level at this stage of our development. Bezu is a fantastic restaurant and bar venue that is at once highly sophisticated and super relaxed and provides extraordinary value for money. We have worked hard to bring the Euro style that is Bezu into the competitive Queenstown market, and to be named among the top three in the country is a positive reflection of that effort,” said Mr Thompson.

Judged by the New Zealand Beef and Lamb Marketing Bureau against exacting criteria including presentation, taste and value for money, Bezu is also in the running for the Best Lamb (under $20) in the country.

Mr Clarke said he was thrilled to achieve recognition for his dish featuring hand-made confit lamb shank tortellini with warm aubergine and roast tomato salad, thyme, sage and saffron infusion.

“This dish is one of the most popular on our current menu as it is warming to the eye and complementary to the palette,” said Mr Clarke.

“A great way to enjoy a lamb shank is to shred the meat and encase it into pasta. This is a delicate way to present the lamb but still hearty in its approach. The herbs and saffron infusion offer an ethereal note and the roasted aubergine and tomato pieces add just enough acidic sweetness to complement the meat.”

Presentations will be made to national finalists and the overall category winners at the Lion Nathan Awards for Excellence Dinner, to be held at The Skyline Restaurant in Queenstown on 28 September. A supreme overall winner will also be announced and a trophy presented.

Bezu is located by the waterfall on Brecon Street in the Sofitel building.



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