Kiwi Michelin Star chef Josh Emetts international reputation as 2IC to Gordon Ramsay was reinforced when he presented an exceptional 5 course degustation lunch at the Amisfield Wine Company Bistro in Queenstown on Wednesday.
Emett has been in charge of Gordon Ramsay`s North American ventures, in his role as Executive Chef de Cuisine at Gordon Ramsay at The London New York and West Hollywood, and is currently preparing to open Ramsay`s first restaurant in Australia – the maze and maze Grill Melbourne.
His exclusive appearance at Amisfield was a sell out with 150 people from all over the country taking the rare opportunity to meet New Zealand`s most famous chef and sample his unique cuisine style.
“The lunch was an overwhelming success and we are very proud that our staff were able to create such a seamless event for a chef of Josh`s calibre, “says General Manager Fleur Caulton. “ Everyone involved from management to the kitchen, waiting and cellar staff went the extra mile to ensure that the entire event ran smoothly.” “We have had such a positive response from everyone who attended. They loved the food and the Amisfield wines, which we matched to each course. Our guests also had the opportunity to mingle informally with Josh who was keen to meet as many people as possible. He certainly loved being home and preparing food for an appreciative local audience.”
Emett says creating a menu for a “home crowd” was a fantastic experience. “There was definitely a bit of pressure coming home because I`ve been away such a long time. The higher the level you cook the more pressure there is. But Amisfield is such a great venue and the lunch was planned as a relaxed and informal function and that`s why it worked so well. I spend my life doing fine dining and this was such a good chance to do it the Kiwi way.”
The menu highlighted fresh, seasonal and simple ingredients, in line with the Amisfield philosophy of “Grown Not Made.” “In New Zealand we can focus on seasonal produce because unlike other places, such as Europe, we don`t have choices and that`s a good thing,” he says. “Seasonality is such a big part of eating here.”
While he has been involved in the Gordon Ramsay Empire for the past ten years Emett still considers himself a New Zealand chef. “I trained overseas but I am still very much a Kiwi. Working with Gordon Ramsay has allowed me to develop my own style. There are no boundaries with him and that`s the reason I enjoy it, because I do have so much freedom.” Emett`s Sous Chef John Lawson, who is to be Head Chef at the maze and Maze Grill Melbourne assisted him, but he also paid tribute to the Amisfield kitchen staff headed by Executive Chef Jason Innes for their part in the success of the day.
“All the kitchen crew did their part well and it was a big call with 750 plates over five courses. That takes a lot of organisation.”
The Amisfield Josh Emett Degustation lunch was:
Carpaccio of Roasted Aubergine accompanied by Amisfield Pinot Gris 2008
Citrus and King Salmon accompanied by Amisfield Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Tortellini of Rabbit Confit accompanied by Amisfield Pinot Noir 2007
Loin and Shoulder of Cardrona Lamb accompanied by Amisfield Rocky Knoll Pinot Noir 2006 Peach Chiboust accompanied by Amisfield Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2008.