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The Chef’s Table

An après ski pop up restaurant at Wānaka’s Rippon Vineyard hall headed by London trained chef Sam Metcalfe of Raspberry Creek Catering Co is a winter dining experience with a difference.

“The Chef’s Table is our shared dining concept that’s a wonderful way to sample locally sourced food and wine expertly put together by our talented chefs and hospitability team,” says Sam.

“It was born out of catering weddings at Rippon Hall where our famous banquet style feasting with everyone gathered around a table full of beautiful food creates a giant dinner party atmosphere.  It’s family style dining our customers categorically love.”

The seasonal restaurant was set up five years ago after the idea of a winter pop up was mooted.

“We begged and borrowed furniture, glassware and crockery creating a rustic style restaurant with log fires, live music, local craft beers and it totally went off,” says Sam. “I anticipated 30 guests a night, but we quickly sold out every night and continue to do so each season.”

“Rippon Hall is stunning with uninterrupted views across Lake Wānaka. People come off the mountain in their ski clothes, have a mulled wine around the outdoor firepit and watch the sun go down over Ruby Island – it’s magical.”

“Our menu kicks off with freshly baked sourdough, Whitestone Windsor fondue cheese and delicious entrée platters including meats, seafood and vegetarian dishes. The big banquet main course features shared dishes like slow braised lamb shoulder, crispy roast potatoes, honey glazed vegetables and steamed winter greens with sweet plated desserts to follow. You just sit back, relax and we feed you.”

The pop up operates Wednesday to Sunday evenings form June 27 until September 27. Open from 5.00pm on weekdays and 4.00pm on Sundays the venue has different dining spaces for small and large groups.

“It’s long table dining with options to eat in the kitchen with the chefs cooking around you, in the main hall with roaring open fires or on the enclosed terrace that’s perfect for large groups with kids,” says Sam.

“The most amazing thing is it doesn’t feel like a restaurant but more like a big party every night where you hang out with mates, meet some new people and share a table – it’s very social.”

Bookings online www.raspberrycreek.co.nz/the-chefs-table/

Sam Metcalfe – The Chef

CULINARY CAREER

Trained at Westminster College chef Sam Metcalfe of Raspberry Creek Catering Co started his culinary career at London’s finest dining rooms including Nico Ladenis at Grosvenor House, The Belvedere, L’Escargot and the Groucho Club.

“My Kiwi wife Lara and I then moved to Brighton opening our own restaurant called Seven Dials and bought another eatery. We came to Wānaka on a sabbatical ten years ago and loved it so sold up our UK businesses and house, put the kids in school here and haven’t looked back.”

The couple own Raspberry Creek Food Co catering year-round for weddings, celebrations and special events.