A takeaway food shop with more than one difference is opening in Springvale.
Chef's Kitchen, owned by Kester Atkinson, is on a former petrol station site at the intersection of Fitzherbert and Carlton Aves, opposite Springvale Park.
The kitchen is headed up by master chef Dean Wong and all the chefs will be in uniform, the first indication that this is not your ordinary takeaway outlet. The business' signs advertise it as "food for foodies".
"Chef's Kitchen is a restaurant quality takeaway outlet specialising in gluten free and specialty breads, prawns, oysters, spare rib dishes and all other master chef quality foods prepared on site," Atkinson said.
"It's not a restaurant, it's not a takeaway bar, we are an in-between. It will be high quality food to take away but very health conscious. That's why we have chefs here. The business strategy promotes good wholesome health food to our community at an affordable price."
There will be two menu boards. The first applies from 6am to 2pm and is a "working man's" menu with quality pies, savouries, rolls, sushi bar, salads, spare ribs and more.
From mid-afternoon, the focus will be on the evening-type menu, which is available all day. It includes chef-prepared burgers, pizza, healthy meals, seafood dishes and meals to order.
There will be platters available for corporate functions and a focus on school lunches with healthy portions and items such as sushi, fruit and salads.
"We will be healthy drink conscious and there will be no drinks with artificial sugars," Atkinson said.
The chefs will include students mentored by Wong.
Chef's Kitchen has a close link with UCOL's chef training programme and students will be doing work skills and workshop training at Chef's Kitchen.
Aragorn Cavanagh, 16, who is in the Whanganui High School Gateway programme and won the recent UCOL Secondary Schools Hospitality Competition, is mentored by Wong and is gaining some valuable experience at Chef's Kitchen.
In another key difference, the business has a strong eco-friendly approach and will be 99 per cent plastics-free within the next three months with the aim of getting as close to 100 per cent as possible within six months.
There will be no plastic packaging and everything will be biodegradable.
"From a personal point of view, it has always been part of my wish list to produce good, healthy-type foods particularly to our younger generation," Atkinson said.
"I have owned a large, successful bakery in the Bay of Plenty for some 11 years so, coupled with the experience of master chefs, we should be able to improve the food quality Whanganui richly deserves."
Atkinson said the parking available on-site was a big plus for the busy location.
The business has its grand opening on Saturday, September 15, and will be open seven days a week from 6am to 8pm.