When the test came from The Sugar Club executive chef Josh Barlow at 2am, “Does Heston have any dietary requirements?” I realised, that in the mad panic to get my mitts on Heston, I’d forgotten to ask. Surely not? How hard can this be? Heston is escorted in, microphones and cameras are put in place and he launches into a fascinating story about a frog who needs to think to breathe. “I think we take our breath for granted.”
With today’s culture of rock-star chefs (and sometimes super-sized egos to match), and in an industry which can be tough on junior staff, it’s refreshing to meet a chef who spends much of her working life hidden behind the scenes, who cares about developing and mentoring those under her charge and who uses her skills to help in the community.
Tracy Whitmey talks to a young chef bringing fine-dining techniques to traditional Lebanese food. The menu note sums up entirely what Gemmayze Street is all about: A large part of Lebanese heritage and culture is conveyed through our food and the way we share a meal with our loved ones. Gemmayze Street symbolises the pillars of any Lebanese gathering: food, hospitality, love and family.
Of the current buzzwords, ‘passion’ is tossed around with abandon these days, but when Simon Levy describes his dish of clams as food that “hugs you, just embraces you” it shows that his heart and soul are poured into INATI, the Christchurch restaurant he owns along with his wife, Lisa.