Josh Emett has had one very hectic year. When not shooting for MasterChef or flying from Auckland to his stylish Queenstown restaurant, Rata, the Michelin-starred chef has been working on two special projects.
The first is the November opening of brasserie Ostro in Auckland's Britomart. Part of a new hospitality precinct set over six floors in the Seafarers Building, the eatery will boast expansive harbour and city views from two large, all-weather terraces. As Seafarers' food director, Emett has created all the menus and designed the kitchen for the second-floor restaurant.
"It's an exciting project," he says. "Auckland has not seen a multi-use space like this before where there's more than one reason to visit." The complex will eventually boast more bars, eateries, a private movie screening room and members' club but, in the interim, is home to about-to-open Supreme coffee and Ostro, of course. Under head chef Cobus Klopper, it will be open seven days for lunch and dinner and will also serve bar food into the wee small hours.
And the menu? Expect produce-driven dishes including seafood from a raw bar, small plates and brasserie favourites such as bone-in scotch fillet. There's an Emett classic, too - "a smoked kahawai omelette that's a gorgeous lunch dish, an amazing seafood platter and a salt pork-shoulder pie. I'm a massive pie fan," he adds, which brings us to Emett's second project: the launch, also next month, of cookbook Cut.
This is a classically styled book about meat. Through the pages, Emett shares his knowledge and experience of what to do with every inch of an animal and recipes for side dishes, sauces and relishes. There's even a section on his beloved pies.
• Cut, published by Random House, $65, in shops from November 15.