When February’s Christchurch earthquake saw his hotel confined within the central Red Zone, it spelled the end of chef Adrian Lowrey’s 12-year career in the Garden City.
Before taking up his role as Executive Chef at The Marque Hotel in Christchurch, Chef Lowrey worked his way up from senior positions at the award-winning The George Hotel to Head Chef at Lyttleton’s renowned London Street restaurant.
The hugely talented 38-year-old recently took redundancy from his role at The Marque and has made the move south to the Heritage Queenstown, one of the resort’s most iconic properties.
With wife Nicole and three young children, living and working in a resort town with a stunning natural environment ‘ticked all the boxes’ for the family, while Chef Lowrey was keen to work for the multi award-winning hotel.
“My style of cooking is uncomplicated, and I really like the produce of the central and lower South Island, so that’s going to be reflected in my menus at the Heritage, aimed at guests, visitors and locals alike.”
With a new summer menu launched in the week leading up to Christmas, putting the final touches to Christmas and New Year’s Eve lunch and dinner menus, and committing to delivering three seasonal ‘specials’ on a daily basis, life is busy. .
“The new menu is very salad focused, healthy without being boring, but also features more relaxed, Kiwi-style cuisine using BBQ’s on our restaurant balcony and at the pool area,” he said.
“We have these amazing outdoor areas at The Heritage which have been very under-utilised in the past, especially the balcony which has absolutely stunning, blow-your-socks-off views of The Remarkables mountains and Lake Wakatipu.
“It’s the perfect spot for al fresco lunches or dining, or simply relaxing with a glass of wine as the sun goes down.
“My aim is to help lift the profile of the hotel’s Mackenzies Restaurant with a new menu and relaxed style that will appeal to the local market, especially those who live right on our doorstep.
“It’s always a challenge with a hotel restaurant, but I’m confident if they do come in they’ll want to come back.”
Highlights of the new summer menu include entrées of vodka cured salmon salad with lemon, tomato and olive oil, or a peppered venison, roasted pear, walnut and blue cheese salad. Main courses include a lamb tasting plate, a confit duck leg, rocket, poached stone fruit and chèvre mousse dish with crisp lentils, black Angus beef steaks or a beautiful grilled vegetable terrine.
Bookings are essential for The Heritage Christmas Day lunch and dinner buffet at $95 a head.