This week's Q&A is with Peppers on the Point executive chef Craig Martin, who was named Outstanding Chef at the recent Rotorua Hospitality Awards.

This is the second year in a row you've won Outstanding Chef. What does it mean to you to win the awards?

It's a great feeling to know my hard work has paid off.

What are the best and worst things about your job?


Having the freedom to design different menus daily and meet great people. Worst thing? Long hours in the summer.

What is your favourite dish to cook/ingredients to cook with, and why?
Don't have a favourite but love cooking with great produce and interesting products.

Which chef do you most admire and why?

Ben Shewry (Attica Melbourne), a Kiwi chef with three hats and has the most amazing palate and passion I have ever seen in a chef! After working in his kitchen for a few days it gave me a goal and made me realise what standards and passion are.

Tell us about your most memorable moment as a chef?

Working at Attica and Sugar Club in Melbourne, meeting David Beckham and playing guitar with Jack Black.

Have you had any disasters in the kitchen?

I'm sure every chef has, plating up dessert for 1500 and panna cotta not set, to name one!


What are your thoughts on Rotorua's dining scene - how does the overall standard compare to other places you have worked/visited?

Improvement needed in a few areas but I would love to see Rotorua's dining scene on the map, if Hamilton and Tauranga can be, there's no reason we can't with a bit more passion and raising the standards.

What do you enjoy about working at Peppers on the Point?

Great views, great people.