Three A-list award-winning chefs — Josh Emett, Michael Meredith and Henry Onesemo — are set to open new offerings of European and Pasifika cuisine over the next two weeks.
Emett and wife Helen have been hard at work with their team this week getting their latest offering, Gilt Brasserie at the historic Chancery Chambers on O’Connell St, ready for opening tomorrow. It’s the celebrated restaurateur’s third venue, with fine-dining Onslow just up the road on Princes St and The Oyster Inn on Waiheke Island. However, Gilt is offering something new.
The all-day brasserie is the couple’s ode to the European-style contemporary brasserie they have enjoyed in vibrant cities from New York to Paris.
They have been training staff on-site while sweeping up and cleaning windows as the finishing touches are added.
Tomorrow night and Tuesday they will host soft openings, celebrating with friends and collaborators ahead of the public launch on Wednesday evening.
The Emetts tell Spy their hugely anticipated new hospitality offering is booking up fast for the coming weeks. “However, we encourage online bookings, and the team will save some space for walk-ins.”
Meanwhile, next Friday, Michael Meredith of Mr Morris fame is bringing us a taste of the Pacific and his Samoan heritage when he officially opens his new restaurant Metita on Federal St.
Metita is the latest of SkyCity’s new hospitality offerings within The Grand. An extensive remodelling of the former Gusto at the Grand restaurant has transformed the space into a modern Pacific oasis.
“This menu is everything I love about the Pacific, with the food I grew up eating created to share with friends and family,” says Meredith. “My hope is that this menu will make Pasifika food more accessible, inspiring Kiwis to try ingredients which may sit outside of their comfort zone.”
And Parnell is getting its own fine-dining Pacific experience too.
Tala, the creation of Samoan-born chef Henry Onesemo — formerly of Meredith’s, Apero and East St. Hall — and his wife, Debby, will blend traditional Samoan hospitality with a contemporary interpretation of Samoan flavours for a unique experience at the former home of fine-dining restaurant Pasture.
The sophisticated and contemporary space will feature a cave-like atmosphere, with the flicker of flames from the open-fire range and the delicate smoky aroma of the umu. Guests who choose his ‘chef’s journey’ will also be treated to an up-close experience of Tala, with views into the kitchen as Henry and his team prepare each dish.
“I can’t wait to welcome our guests into a fun dining atmosphere where they’ll be able to see all the action of the kitchen, and to introduce them to a fresh perspective on the diverse range of Samoan flavours and ingredients,” says Onesemo. Tala will have a soft opening at the end of the month.
A week after opening Gilt, Emett will turn his attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a charity lunch and dinner at Onslow to raise awareness and money for Breast Cancer Cure via Auckland’s first “Dine for a Cure”. The charity held its inaugural dining event in Queenstown earlier this year.
The dining experiences, a choice of lunch or dinner, will be hosted by 1News’ Wendy Petrie.
“On the back of the sell-out Breast Cancer Cure fundraising fashion event we hosted at Onslow last year, I can’t wait to showcase our curated menu at the upcoming Dine for a Cure event,” Emett tells Spy.
“We knew we wanted to open our doors once again and continue to make a difference to breast cancer scientists and researchers in Aotearoa,” he says.
“The spotlight is on our Onslow kitchen, our passion for food and delivering a curated and memorable dining experience to our guests. I am surrounded by wonderful women in my life, and supporting this fundraiser is my way of showing support for the cause and giving back.”
Limited tickets are still available at breastcancercure.org.nz.