Hospitality Business Magazine

Beef + Lamb New Zealand honour Christchurch restaurant owner’s dedication

rsz_cafe_valentinoFor twenty years Beef + Lamb New Zealand have been rewarding chefs and restaurants nationwide who consistently serve up excellent beef and lamb cuisine. Restaurants who achieve the Award are presented with a gold plate honouring the chef’s culinary craft with restaurants who have received the Award time and time again, testimony to the timelessness of beef and lamb dishes.

For Michael Turner, owner of Cafe Valentino in Christchurch, losing his existing premises in the 2011 earthquake prevented him from entering the Awards that year.

Having entered the Awards each year since their inception, a blank space appears between the display of plates on the wall of his new premises lined with 19 years of Excellence Awards and signed memorabilia, which he rescued from his existing restaurant in the earthquake red zone.

Michael explains it’s important for his customers to know only excellent beef and lamb will be served at his restaurant. “It’s about reaching a standard and telling people about it. When customers come in they want to be reassured and the wall of gold plates is a sign of milestones reached and leaves customers in no doubt that there is something competent going on in the kitchen. It’s a sign of quality,” says Michael.

“New Zealand beef and lamb is a core dish on our menu and always has been. Tourists come in and expect good beef and lamb, they want to know the provenance of the product and knowing we have the Beef and Lamb Excellence Award is a guarantee they will experience quality product.”

The blank space on the wall at Cafe Valentino has now been filled with an honorary gold plate presented to Michael Turner this February which marks five years since the Canterbury Earthquakes which devastated his premises and prevented Cafe Valentino from entering the Awards again until 2013.

As one of the few restaurants who has collected a gold plate every year since the inception of the Awards, originally known as the Hallmark of Excellence and with the five year anniversary of the earthquakes looming, it is timely to present Michael with an honorary gold plate to recognise his commitment to the Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards and the exceptional skill of his chefs who have time and time again served up high quality beef and lamb dishes for twenty years.