Auckland Restaurateur Nick Honeyman Earns A Michelin Star

By Megan Watts
Paris Butter's Nick and Sina Honeyman have earned a Michelin star for their restaurant Le Petit Léon.

The chef’s restaurant Le Petit Léon, in the South of France, has been awarded the culinary world’s highest honour.

Operated by Nick and Sina Honeyman, the restaurant Le Petit Léon has just been awarded a Michelin star — one of 52 restaurants in France to receive the distinction.

The couple, who also co-own fine dining restaurant Paris Butter on Jervois Road in Auckland (one of Viva’s Top 50 Auckland Restaurants in 2023), announced the news today, and were praised by friends, family and industry figures. The seasonal restaurant received the award for its “masterfully intelligent” offerings, according to the Michelin Guide.

Le Petit Léon is located in the heart of Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère in the South of France.
Le Petit Léon is located in the heart of Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère in the South of France.

“A Michelin star is one of the most prestigious honours a restaurant can receive,” Nick Honeyman said of the accolade. “While I pride myself on cooking for people, not praise, there’s no denying it’s an accolade that many chefs and restaurant owners only dream of, and myself, and the rest of the team at Le Petit Léon, are incredibly honoured and humbled to be recognised.”

The Guide’s announcement of the award said of Nick’s work: “Exquisitely presented, his signature cuisine is a masterfully intelligent festival of emulsions and contrasting flavours.”

Le Petit Léon is open from May to September, located in the picturesque village of Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère on the South of France. Sina, a trained sommelière, suggests local wines, fine vintages and the occasional bottle of New Zealand wine to pair with the food.

Honeyman's food has been awarded a Michelin star.
Honeyman's food has been awarded a Michelin star.

Born and raised in South Africa, Nick left at 18 to pursue a dream of becoming a world-class chef, enrolling in a four-year cooking school course in Sydney.

Blitzing through the course in three years, the talented chef went to work in some of the city’s top five-star hotels, as well as Sakai Hirotia’s La Rochelle in Tokyo, Pascal Barbot’s L’Astrance and Alain Passard’s L’Arpège in Paris.

He returned to Sydney, working at Justin North’s Becasse, and then headed to New Zealand where he worked under Simon Wright at The French Café.

Nick then went on to open Dallow and Cru on Sale Street.

In 2012, the chef opened The Commons Restaurant, which won a slew of awards, followed by Everybody’s Izakaya, a modern Japanese restaurant. He then became the executive chef of the five-star luxury hotel Sofitel.

Nick now works between his two restaurants, Paris Butter in Auckland — which has earned Two Hats — and his seasonal restaurant, Le Petit Léon, in Le Bourg.

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