New owners of Arrowtown’s Provisions Matthias Schmitt and Monika Ederer are relishing stamping their mark on the café housed in an original miner’s cottage in Buckingham Street. The professional chefs moved to Arrowtown with their two young children this year after spending more than a decade working and living on Waiheke Island.
“We loved island life but were keen for a new adventure and while here on holiday discovered the café was for sale,” says Matthias. “Moving here was great timing for our sons both starting kindergarten and primary school and the community has been so friendly and welcoming.”
“The café suited us perfectly with Monica’s pastry background and my chef background. We are really pleased with the whole foundation that previous owner Jane Shaw has created and our aim is to make it even better while offering a fresh approach.”
Originally from Germany the couple share a farming upbringing and a love of the environment. The cafe’s new seasonal menu features fresh, local ingredients wherever possible including Royalburn Station free range eggs, South Island fish, Central Otago seasonal fruit, Whitestone haloumi cheese, Otago honey and Gibbston microgreens.
“It’s been an amazing transition and a real learning curve. Our food is modern and contemporary using classic French cooking techniques with some Asian fusion influence to make inventive, flavoursome dishes,” says Matthias. “Innovative breakfast dishes like French Toast, Poire Belle Helene featuring poached pears, chocolate ganache with spiced mascarpone and House Smoked Brisket served with bone marrow hollandaise, poached eggs and salsa verde are standouts.”
“People love our lunchtime Roasted Pumpkin Soup with coconut and lemongrass foam presented like a cappuccino with froth on the top. Hearty dishes such as Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks and Twice Cooked Pork Belly with apple puree made from our own apples have been popular.”
Provisions also has healthy counter food and fresh baking with a range of quiches, salads, cakes, tarts and slices including gluten and dairy free options. All Press coffee is served along with Stir Teas, smoothies and juices, Queenstown Altitude beers and ciders and Central Otago and New Zealand wines.
The recently initiated Trust the Chef evenings on Fridays have a steady following.
“We wanted to introduce an evening option and this is a great way to start slowly. We serve beautifully presented dishes determined by what is seasonally available each week and the feedback has been amazing with plenty of repeat bookings,” says Matthias. “Trust the Chef allows for more inventive finer dining dishes and we serve selected wines and beers as part of the set menu. It is still a lovely casual café atmosphere but diners have been impressed with what is created in our little kitchen.”