Matterhorn Bar Of The Year Hat Trick
TRANSMIT PRESS RELEASE 7/8/08
Raise A Toast To Matterhorn For Bar Of The Year Hat Trick
For the third consecutive year Matterhorn has won Bar of the Year at the New Zealand Bar Awards.
As well as taking out top prize at last night’s awards ceremony, Wellington’s Cuba Street haunt won Bar Manager of the Year for Riki Carter who also placed 2nd in the New Zealand Bartender of the Year Competition. Matterhorn’s maverick sibling bar Mighty Mighty was awarded Best Music Offering and another Wellington winner was Motel for Cocktail Bar of The Year.
Matterhorn Co-Director Christian McCabe was at the Hilton Hotel in Auckland for the awards, voted for and judged by the local bar industry and international judges. He explains that the Matterhorn philosophy is about exceeding expectations and providing a voyage of discovery for both staff and customers.
“Matterhorn was started out by a bunch of people in their 20’s with no money who have literally worked their butts off. It continues to be and always will be about top quality hospitality”
Based on Cuba Street in a former Swiss pastry house, Matterhorn is constantly evolving as a destination for food, wine, cocktails, service and ambience. Attracting young and old alike, Matterhorn has become a legendary name worldwide especially with other bar owners. One of its cocktail designs, ‘Falling Water’ is intricately linked to the Matterhorn and is served daily to thousands of people in bars in China and around the rest of the world, as well as being served on Air New Zealand’s First and Business classes.
McCabe says one of their smartest moves has been working with the local hospitality scene to continually to raise the bar. As well as training their own staff, Matterhorn staff run an education programme open to all Wellington bartenders to encourage a genuine appreciation for the products and culture.
“There’s a real maturity in the market and that puts us up on the same level as the rest of the world for great eating and drinking”.
Matterhorn supports staff to regularly enter bar competitions and earlier this year Riki Carter travelled to Havana to compete in a Havana Club cocktail competition. This week he picked up first place in the Glenfiddich "Untouchables" and another Matterhorn bar member is through to the Cocktail World Cup in Queenstown this September.
Matterhorn is also a first time finalist in this year’s Cuisine Restaurant of the Year Awards, due to be announced at the end of this month. The judges described Matterhorn’s mix of ‘pumping bar’, innovative wine list and distinctive dishes as ‘the epitome of urban cool’.
It’s fine dining in an everyday environment McCabe says. The pie cart size kitchen is an intensive labour of love run by chef Sean James Marshall. His menu is influenced by classical European cookery with a focus on precise flavours and dishes built around good fresh ingredients.
“Critical acclaim just furthers the challenge to show people a good time, people are expecting more and it’s our job to deliver” McCabe promises.