The Menus team is all a buzz at news that Jamie Oliver is set to launch restaurants in Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown – but he’s not the only celebrity chef with a restaurant in New Zealand.
That’s right, we’re spoilt for choice in this country when it comes to world-class restaurants owned and/or operated by celebrity chefs known and respected all over the world for producing first-class food.
Whether you’re looking to dine in style at a restaurant run by a Masterchef judge or you’re after a more casual dining experience at a restaurant that UK celebrity chef Rick Stein flew all the way across the world just to visit, you are in the right place.
This is our comprehensive guide to the best celebrity chefs and their restaurants in New Zealand.
Celebrity chef Simon Gault is a house-hold name in New Zealand thanks largely to his work as a judge on Masterchef – but he’s known worldwide for creating innovative and stylish restaurants.
And as far as celebrity chefs go, few are as an entrepreneurial. Euro is one of the many restaurants in New Zealand that Gault oversees as executive chef to the Nourish Group – and it’s among the most stylish in Auckland.
Another Simon Gault classic, the Jervois Steakhouse & Saloon is a legendary steak house in Auckland serving only the best prime cuts of meat.
The restaurant is sleek and stylish, the food and service is sublime. We’d expect no less from a celebrity chef restaurant.
It’s a fast-paced eatery and oyster bar where most of the cooking is done over wood or charcoal. The menu includes a range of seafood and dishes produced from quality locally sourced ingredients.
Sean Connolly is the face of a number of cooking shows on TV and the talent behind The Grill at Sky City Auckland.
In contrast to many celebrity chef restaurants, The Grill’s food is simple and uncomplicated with a real Kiwi flavour. It’s suitable for a casual lunch with friends or a stylish dinner with clients.
Born-and-raised in Wanganui, London-based celebrity chef Peter Gordon is often dubbed Europe’s father of fusion cuisine.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Dine by Peter Gordon is an award-winning restaurant that serves a unique blend of tasty Asia, Pacific and traditional European dishes.
Simon Gault’s Taupo restaurant Bistro Lago is set in one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations.
Overlooking Lake Taupo and with a view of the central plateau mountains beyond it, Bistro Lago makes for an ideal location for weddings and special events. The food is mouth-watering but unpretentious.
Shed 5 is where Wellington city greets the sea and where you can sample some of Simon Gault’s most mouth-watering dishes.
From fish and chips to Black Angus boneless rib eye with balsamic truffle lentils, Shed 5 has something for everyone’s palate. In summer diners can sit under an umbrella on the deck and watch as boats come and go across the Wellington harbour.
Co-owned by Al Brown, Logan Brown Restaurant & Bar is everything you would expect form a fine-dining restaurant but without the pretension.
Sounds refreshing, doesn’t it? The food, too, is about honesty and simplicity, striking a balance of taste and textures without muddling the flavours. The restaurant is warm and friendly to match.
Very highly rated here at Menus.co.nz, Simon Gault’s Pravda is an elegant bistro that serves classic European-style dishes with panache.
Pravda is set amongst the hustle and bustle of Wellington’s CBD and yet its marble-topped tables and dark-wood panelling are a throwback to an earlier time.
When British celebrity chef Rick Stein was told he could go anywhere in the world to write an article for English newspaper the Daily Mail, he chose Fleur’s Place.
Fleur Sullivan’s little restaurant on the jetty in Moeraki Bay is now the stuff of legends. Specialising in seafood and with a reputation for good, honest Kiwi tucker, Fleur’s Place is a must-visit.
Foul-mouthed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s right-hand man is the proven talent behind Rata, a relatively new Queenstown eating-house with a penchant for amazing food.
Born-and-bred in Hamilton, Josh Emett worked alongside Ramsay as executive chef at four prestigious Michelin start restaurants in the United Kingdom before returning to NZ. The menu showcases Josh’s cooking skills while taking inspiration from the southern landscape itself.
Have you eaten at any of these restaurants? If so, we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below…