The Park Hyatt Auckland's food offerings run the gamut from a coffee and freshly made pastry to grab on the run from its cafe, The Pantry, to an indulgent afternoon tea at The Living Room or perhaps an exquisite dinner and dessert from the hotel's signature restaurant, Onemata.
Executive pastry chef Callum Liddicoat's deft touch can be felt, or rather tasted, in all three. We found out what Liddicoat gets up to in his home kitchen when he's not making delicious things at work.
I would describe my kitchen at home as... minimal and boring! I'm single and spend most of my time at work, or, if I'm not at work, I'm training or out catching up with friends. My kitchen is not the kitchen you think a pastry chef would have. There is no mixer and only a few cake tins – they're all at work and can stay there. Mind you, it's a good excuse when friends ask you to bake a cake for them – I just say sorry I don't have the equipment – works every time.
The changes I'd like to make to turn it into a dream kitchen... One day I will have a kitchen that suits my lifestyle and job – but at the end of the day, I have lived off toast, omelettes and basic food for 22 years. I'm not about to start getting all chef-like at home, but give me a good outdoor area and a bench to whip up a good platter and fresh vegetable salads, and a barbecue to grill meat, prawns and Moreton Bay bugs, and that will do me just fine.
Things you'd always find in my fridge are... good-quality butter, fresh fruit and veges, a couple of good cheeses, salami, fresh herbs, eggs, mayo, Clevedon buffalo yoghurt, and a big tub of hummus. Just enough stuff to put a platter together.
Some of my pantry staples are... gherkins, mayo, good olive oil, granola, honey, Dulcey and Guanaja Valrhona chocolate.
My favourite ingredient to cook with is... butter – give me a good quality butter and good sea salt and I'm sorted. When the seasons come around, I'll be using butter to caramelise stonefruit for my granola or in autumn you'll find me with jerusalem artichokes, either roasting them or turning them into a soup.
The kind of dishes I most love to make are... there is one cake I do love to bake and that's my go-to burnt butter, rosemary and thyme honey cake. I sometimes eat it for breakfast, toasted and served with crispy bacon. A slice with a cup of lemon tea and a book works a treat. Spanish omelettes are my go-to on a day off.
My go-to in a hurry is... avocado on toast with feta, fresh tomatoes, plenty of salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
If friends stop by unexpectedly... you'll see me chucking a platter together and grabbing a cold bottle of bubbles or French rosé.
My drink of choice... depends on the occasion – a French rosé on any given day, a crisp gin any time or bubbles for when the mood's right.
Something unexpected I make from scratch is... rye and buckwheat flake granola. I've been using the same recipe for about 15 years with only some minor changes. Nothing at the supermarket comes close. It's currently the house-made granola at work and soon it will be on sale at Park Hyatt's cafe, The Pantry!
I cook at home... I'm going to say not a lot at the moment – definitely only on my days off. I have found a good branded meal that is ready to go. This helps with my crazy workload, exercising routine - and I find it helps eliminate waste from my fridge. If I am cooking, I'll eat omelettes every night of the week.
My favourite place to eat right now is... Hello Beasty, hands down – always with friends and many cocktails and French rosé.
The kitchen gadget everyone should have at home is... a microplane – great for citrus fruit, hard cheeses and tonka beans.
My approach to food is... At home it's easy when I'm cooking good quality fresh produce that is in season. I don't mind if I'm paying a little more for a product that is in season and at its prime.
Park Hyatt Auckland, 99 Halsey, Auckland CBD. Website: hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/new-zealand/park-hyatt-auckland/aklph