Josh Emett's name has been on the tongues of the chattering classes on Waiheke of late, from rich-listers to cab drivers and hippies; word on the Island is the celebrity chef is putting roots down in town.

Celebrities and A-listers hang out at The Oyster Inn in Oneroa, which was opened by Jonathan Rutherfurd Best and Andrew Glenn in 2012. It is now said to have been purchased by former MasterChef judge Emett.

A spokesperson for Emett told Spy it was too early to comment on the speculation, however we understand he and his wife Helen Cranage have been friends and huge fans of Rutherfurd Best and Glenn since they returned from England.

When The Oyster Inn came on Spy's radar 7 years ago, Sam Neill's acclaimed Two Paddocks wine was on the wine list and the owners confirmed Neill was a "small shareholder" but more importantly a "very dear friend" to their new restaurant, bar and boutique hotel.

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In 2011, Emett left a glittering 10-year career with Gordon Ramsay Holdings and opened his first restaurant, Rata, in Queenstown with his business partner Fleur Caulton.

A few years later they opened Madam Woo, also in Queenstown. Its huge success has seen them open three more outposts since.

Emett has diversified and is part of Hawker and Roll, a casual version of Madam Woo. He is also Food Director at swanky Auckland eatery Ostro at Britomart.

Spy understands when the ink is dry on the island's Inn, Emett will continue its traditions while also adding his own signature simple, beautiful food and he will be on the island as much as he can, to ensure perfection.

There is one thing for sure: once he is settled there, his former boss Gordon Ramsay will sample the fare and the island scene, next time he is in NZ.


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