Bevan Hurley

Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

$7000 meal is a 'steal'

The price of the six-course degustation dinner includes three nights' accommodation at the exclusive Cape Kidnappers resort. Photo / Supplied
The price of the six-course degustation dinner includes three nights' accommodation at the exclusive Cape Kidnappers resort. Photo / Supplied

Three of the world's best-known chefs will combine to prepare a "once in a lifetime" meal at the exclusive Cape Kidnappers resort in Hawkes Bay.

Australian chef Neil Perry has enticed close friends Heston Blumenthal, the British star of TV cooking show Heston's Feast, and American Thomas Keller, the creator of The French Laundry restaurant in California, to create a six-course degustation dinner on March 26 next year.

A seat at the table will set each couple back at least $7000 - which includes a three-night stay at the five-star resort near Napier.

Perry, who set up the famed Rockpool restaurant in Sydney, said the price was "a steal".

Speaking from Melbourne, Perry said: "Whoever buys tickets, they've actually stolen it. These guys are the best chefs working today and they could command US$100,000 a night on their own. We are really looking forward to it; it's a huge event to put on."

Perry said the two culinary stars were enticed to New Zealand with the promise of a few days on the golf course - but the three mates would spend at least three days hunkering down in the kitchen to prepare.

He said: "These guys are three-star Michelin chefs. The intensity they bring to every dish is just extreme."

Perry said Blumenthal was keen to prepare a "Sounds of the Sea" dish - complete with mini iPods being delivered to the table inside conch shells.

He said: "We are trying to source enough conch shells so people can listen to the sounds of the sea while eating them. When you listen to that while eating it makes it taste more like the sea.

"These guys will be the biggest show in town. It's a great coup for Cape Kidnappers to have them."

The resort's managing director, Jay Robertson, said: "It started off as a wish and a dream and it slowly became a reality. "This event is unique in the world. Forget New Zealand, how often would this happen anywhere?"

Each course at the meal will be matched to Dry River wines from Martinborough.

Blumenthal built the three-Michelin star restaurant The Fat Duck from scratch, and Thomas Keller owns a string of restaurants.

A local chef is putting together a list of local ingredients. Just 52 seats will be available for the meal.

- Herald on Sunday

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