Spring is blooming amid the Auckland hospitality scene and will feature a star chef from Hawaii saying "Aloha" at the Park Hyatt and celebrity chef Josh Emett and wife Helen Cranage opening their first Auckland restaurant together.
The Park Hyatt on Auckland's Viaduct opened on Tuesday - its Captain's Bar has panoramic views of the harbour and city skyline, a luxury spa features a pink Himalayan salt wall and its Presidential Suite is already booked out for the America's Cup.
Jonathan Pasion has worked for the Park Hyatt chain in Maui since 2014 and the owners of the new Auckland hotel brought him over in August last year to be chef de cuisine of its swanky new restaurant, Onemata, which means rich, fertile soil, in te reo.
Before leaving his native Maui for the City of Sails, Pasion was most notably chef de cuisine at Ka'ana Kitchen at the Hyatt chain's Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort.
He cooked for a star-studded line-up including former US President Barack Obama, Former New Zealand PM Sir John Key, Bill and Melinda Gates, Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, Hollywood A-listers Jennifer Aniston, Tom Hanks and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.
The award-winning chef is influenced by his Filipino heritage and their love and respect for quality and traditions. He's looking forward to fusing the two cultures within many nods to Māoridom.
Next month, former MasterChef judge Josh Emett and wife Helen Cranage are also adding a luxurious addition to the city restaurant scene, Onslow.
The pair have planned their new Princes St restaurant for 18 months and are relieved and excited to open their dream restaurant together.
With the help of their two sons, the pair have kept Kiwis cooking during lockdowns using Instagram, and successfully navigated the varying Covid levels while taking over the Oyster Inn on Waiheke.
Onslow references the old world, but they describe it to Spy as fittingly modern. The restaurant has pride of place in The International building, next door to The Northern Club.
"I've waited a long time to find the perfect location to open my first Auckland restaurant. It's exciting to be a part of this incredibly dynamic chapter in Auckland's food scene," says Emett.
Cranage adds: "The 'slow' is important at Onslow; a place to take time out from the hustle and bustle of city life and savour an exceptional dining experience. Come summer, a table on the west-facing terrace will be one of the city's most coveted spots."