Peter Gordon Returns With Exciting New Flavours
Peter Gordon Returns With Exciting New Flavours For Spring
A new spring menu is the mark internationally renowned chef Peter Gordon has left behind, following his recent visit to New Zealand and to his self-titled new restaurant – dine by Peter Gordon – which opened along with the new five-star SKYCITY Grand Hotel, in April this year.
The visit is one of at least four that New Zealand born Peter Gordon will make to his homeland every year, to introduce seasonal menu changes and oversee the kitchen and overall restaurant management for SKYCITY’s premium new restaurant.
The new menu, available now, is around “75% new” according to Peter Gordon.
“Popular favourites – such as the seared sashimi, crab and tofu crusted hapuku and pan fried scallops have remained, but we’ve introduced a wide range of new menu items,” he says.
His recent menu changes at dine by Peter Gordon are inspired by seasonal ingredient variations and, just as importantly, by customer feedback.
Gordon says his only New Zealand restaurant has quite different needs to that of the other five restaurants world-wide which he either owns or consults to and says he cannot simply copy menus.
“What’s popular and available produce wise in one country, may not be in another,” he says.
With the new winter/spring menu, Peter has combined some hearty comfort meals such as the lightly smoked venison shin and the Roast Akaroa salmon with lentils and savoy cabbage. But he has also introduced some lighter salad and vegetable offerings like the Zany Zeus haloumi, dill and spinach salad and the shitake, basil and feta beignets for the vegetarian main course.
Four months after opening, Peter is thrilled with his new restaurant.
“I’ve heard nothing but good comments – the wait staff and my kitchen team are fantastic,” he says.
“I encourage my kitchen teams to come up with their own weekly ‘special’ menu items which are a great way to inspire and empower them to come up with fresh ideas or to invigorate an existing dish.
“We are in contact very regularly and exchange ideas via phone or e-mail,” he says.
An unashamed ambassador for the country, Gordon says he loves returning “home” not only to visit his friends and family, but because he believes New Zealand has some of the best produce to work with.
He points out the 300-day grain fed Angus beef fillet from Christchurch, the Clevedon oysters (which he selected recently to take with him to San Fransisco), the New Zealand grown wasabi which he says is “100% pure and the best I’ve tasted anywhere,” Taupo’s fresh water prawns, baby paua specially grown in the Hawkes Bay, our baby kumara, lamb, venison, and our own national ‘piko piko’ plant.
Gordon, who recently won the NZ Restaurant Association 2005 Innovator award for his innovation in fusion cuisine and for his world-wide promotion of New Zealand produce, says he takes every opportunity to use local product.
“Many of the restaurants I am involved with world-wide are supplied with New Zealand product,” he says.
“Here the meat tastes better and the seafood is so much fresher. New Zealand wasabi is a new agricultural crop which needs pristine water to grow and we have that here in New Zealand.”
Dishes recommended by the “father of fusion cuisine” from his new menu include the smoked coconut laksa starter and the pork belly main dish, served on a roast butternut and lemon braised silverbeet with red capsicum, pimento and sherry vinegar chutney.
The dessert menu also has some exciting new taste sensations with four new menu items.
Peter Gordon returns to New Zealand next in November 2005 to introduce the new summer and special Xmas menus.
Other exciting projects for Gordon this year will see the launch of his new cook book – Salads: The New Main Course – on sale in New Zealand from 1 October 2005. Meanwhile, he is already well underway writing a new cook book based around vegetables.
In July this year, Peter filmed a one hour programme called ‘Planet Food’ to be screened on The Discovery Channel. The show was on the food of Guangdong, better known as the Canton region. The highlight of the trip for Peter, apart from the amazing scenery and people, was definitely the food. With all the history behind their cuisine, Peter was inspired more than he could have hoped for.
In early 2006, Peter Gordon will return to oversee his restaurant and to attend the 2005 WACS congress (World Association of Chefs congress) at which some 800 leading chefs from around the world will be at SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre. As well as this and his work in the various restaurants he’s involved with, not to mention his ongoing charity support and the development of his new book, Peter has another busy year ahead.