Queenstown chef wows in New York

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A top Queenstown hotel chef cooked for 130 of New York’s most demanding gastronomes last week. 

Ben Batterbury from The Rees on Frankton Road put on a lavish $US170 ‘Flavors of New Zealand’ banquet for 80 gourmets at New York’s legendary Beard House on Thursday night. 

The banquet was preceded by a private lunch – another Batterbury creation – put on by NZ Trade & Enterprise for 50 media representatives and restaurant chefs. 

Batterbury featured NZ delicacies such as mussels, salmon, venison, lamb – and even a strawberry pavlova with Otago saffron custard – matched with eight top-notch Kiwi wines. 

“It was an honour to be at the Beard House with its culinary heritage and pedigree,” he says. 

The Beard House is the Greenwich Village townhouse of the late James Beard, dubbed the dean of American cookery by the New York Times. 

After his death in 1985, the equally famous Julia Childs suggested Beard’s townhouse be bought and a non-profit foundation formed in his honour to issue annual culinary awards. 

Meanwhile, the new head chef at Gibbston’s The Winehouse has cooked for some of the biggest names in the United States. Chris Whiting, who replaces Chris Bindon, worked for the past five US summers as chef for the 
President of RCA Records in New York. 

He cooked for US music industry bigwigs, senators, and even the President though Whiting won’t reveal which one. The Winehouse hosts a dinner party next Wednesday to release Whiting’s new menu.