Under flickering candlelight the former Burger King restaurant in Tauranga’s Elizabeth Street came to life as second year culinary arts students from Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic hosted a ‘pop-up restaurant’ dining experience for a few lucky gastronomes.
The ‘Naked’ experience, masterminded by chef-tutor Lee Pearce, was inspired by the undressed space and the real, un-garnished food.
“The big lesson for this team of young chefs was to be creative with some big restrictions, like no electricity and a venue that was very much a blank canvas,” said Lee.
“It was pretty challenging,” said student Crystal Rutherford. “We had to be very creative with how we kept the food warm. Our timing had to be perfect.”
The food was based on the students’ silver-medal winning Nestlé Toque d’Or menu which included a salmon dish, a steak dish and dessert. For starters, guests flame-cooked their own pork belly and enjoyed an edible terracotta bread pot with hummus and carrots.
To keep the crowd warm, the students provided hot water bottles for each guest.
“The food was just incredible,” said diner Gemma Bond. “It was a completely unique experience.”
Naked menu - BK undressed August 2016
Lemon, herbs, bitters
Charred pot belly
Veggie terra pot
Salmon, coconut, beets
Beef, mash, sprouts
Chocolate, raspberry, crunch