Visiting Australian celebrity chef Justin North enjoyed a chance to sample Real Journey’s gourmet BBQ lunch menu before heading to the kitchen to work alongside Executive Chef Mauro Battaglia at Walter Peak High Country Farm in Queenstown recently.
North says the first impression when walking through the doors into the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant is the absolutely beautiful aroma.
“Credit to Executive Chef Mauro Battaglia and his whole team as it’s clear that a lot of love, care and thought goes into the food. You can see there is such a lovely culture within the kitchen team, and everyone is so passionate about what they are doing. You can tell it’s more than just a job to everyone.”
He also notes the focus on sustainability and sourcing of quality local ingredients.
“Often when there’s a meat or BBQ focussed menu vegetables can become secondary, but the colour of these dishes hits you with beautiful heirloom tomatoes, heritage carrots, beans, and so on – it just looks stunning and provides a really nice balance to the meat.”
On holiday in New Zealand with his Sydney-based family, North also experienced the Doubtful Sound Wilderness day cruise and Real Journeys newest tour experience, Fiordland Inside & Out, which takes customers on a fully guided day tour and includes the Te Anau Glowworm Caves, a nature walk, scenic stops along Milford Road, and a cruise around Milford Sound.
“Doubtful Sound is kind of like being on a different planet and Milford Sound is different again. We were there on a day with lots of rain and low cloud and it was still simply phenomenal. It’s quite hard to put the experience into words, but the glowworm caves were also amazing and very mystical.”
North says one of the biggest standouts for his family has been the people they have met at Real Journeys along the way.
“Real Journeys seems to attract people who are open, honest and really passionate about what they do. The whole family has loved the Real Journeys guides as they are not only informative, they are also really entertaining and very warm.”