The Star: May 26, 2016

StarMedia.Digital

22 Thursday May 26 2016

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The Star

Taste

WORKING

MAGIC:

Jimmy

McIntyre has

been Otahuna

Lodge

executive chef

for 13 years.

PHOTOS:

GEOFF

SLOAN

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Creating art on a plate

Ever wondered who is cooking your food when you

go out to a cafe or restaurant? The Star continues its

series talking with chefs.

Otahuna Lodge executive chef – Jimmy McIntyre

• By Gabrielle Stuart

THERE AREN’T many chefs who would

invite their guests right into their kitchen

while they work.

But for Jimmy McIntyre, sharing the

Jameson Irish

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being

With Henry’s you won’t have

to travel far to pick up one

of your favourites.

While our shelves boast

internationally famous labels,

we have a huge range of

New Zealand’s best. Come

check out what local brews

we have on offer.

secrets behind his food is part of what he

loves.

His food is immaculately presented,

like art on a plate, using skills he learned

after almost 40 years cooking across New

Zealand, Asia and Europe.

But it was still good, honest food, he said.

“Everything on the plate has to be edible,

no prissy garnishes or anything like

that.

And the secret to good, honest food

was in the details, he said. From the herbs

growing in the gardens right outside the

kitchen to the bread freshly made in the

mornings, or the hams they cured for

more than a year to get the flavours right.

Sharing that with his guests might mean

inviting them along to select mushrooms

for dinner that night, or in to the kitchen

for a private lesson on how it was prepared.

“It can be pretty frenetic, so you’ve got

to be organised, but generally we get good

at it. And because the menu changes every

day it’s like cooking out of a big magic box.”

His first role in the kitchen was at about

11 years old, when he worked for his stepfather

in the holidays washing dishes to

earn pocket money.

He spent his early years working for chefs

at hotels and restaurants around Auckland.

In his 30s, he worked around the world,

travelling Asia and then working on a riverboat

in Germany and Portugal.

He returned to New Zealand to take a

job at Christchurch restaurant Phloyds,

which he said was awarded Restaurant of

the Year after four months.

He went on to work at several restaurants,

including Espresso 124, which was

where he met his wife, Philippa, who is

also a chef.

He said they met when they were both

guest chefs at the Sign of the Takahe, but

he didn’t think anything of it at the time.

“But she tracked me down at work a few

months later and came into lunch at work

with some friends. She rang me up just before

service and said would you like to get

a drink after work and I said yeah, sure.

And we’ve been together ever since.”

He took on the role at Otahuna 13 years

ago, and was there throughout the earthquakes,

when it had to be closed twice for

repairs.

But although many chefs around the

city lost their jobs, he said the owners of

the lodge made the decision to keep all the

staff on.

Over the four months the lodge was

closed, the team kept busy feeding the

army of workers repairing the place, he

said.

www.henrys.co.nz CHRISTCHURCH: AVONHEAD • BARBADOES ST • BISHOPDALE • HOMEBASE SHIRLEY

• HORNBY • MOORHOUSE AVE • PARKLANDS • ROLLESTON • TOWER JUNCTION • WOOLSTON • YALDHURST • TIMARU • RANGIORA

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Henry’s encourages safe & responsible use of alcohol. Shout prices run from Monday 23rd May until Sunday 29th May 2016 or while stocks last.

ALL FRESH: With more than 130 kinds

of fruit, nuts and vegetables grown at

Otahuna Lodge, most ingredients are

sourced straight from the garden.

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