Greystone Wines in Waipara, North Canterbury has welcomed their new head chef, Cameron Woodhouse.

Cameron has previously worked at Miro, Inati, and Eliza’s Manor in Christchurch, at Jack’s Point and Amisfield in Central Otago, and at the acclaimed Gleneagle’s Hotel in Scotland.

He says getting to run his own kitchen is a dream come true, even if it comes with a few sleepless nights.

“I love it here. I have full control over the menu, which is something I’ve not had before. It just means I don’t sleep Sunday or Monday because I tend to lie awake planning the week’s menu,” says Cameron with a laugh.

With an ethos very much centred around fresh and seasonal produce, the Cellar Door perfectly aligns with Cameron’s own philosophy on food. On weekends, he and his partner forage for food in the neighbouring Christchurch red zone or challenge themselves to cook up whatever vegetable has grown in abundance in their own garden.

Cameron says he is now eager to develop his foraging skills further, having spent many years learning about nature’s bounty.

A passionate chef, Cameron’s only regret in life is that he didn’t start his career sooner because he listened to those around him in his hometown of Aberdeenshire in Scotland.

“I’ve worked in kitchens since I was 14 but a chef once told me ‘do anything but be a chef’. So I went on to start a mechanical engineering degree. Well, that didn’t stick. I hated it. When I eventually decided to block out those voices, I went back to study to be a chef.”

Cameron attributes his patience in the kitchen and willingness to teach others how to cook ‘the best way not the fastest way’ to his time spent as a pastry chef at Gleneagle’s Hotel in Scotland.

“It’s given me skills which you don’t always find in a commercial kitchen. I just want to share my knowledge with others and make sure nobody makes the mistake I made in not becoming a chef sooner. I would tell anybody to be a chef, there’s no other industry I would rather be in.”

Cameron went on to travel the world, before New Zealand stole his heart and he decided to call it home. 

Greystone marketing manager Nik Mavromatis says he is thrilled to have Cameron head up the kitchen at the Cellar Door.

“Cameron is the kind of guy who spends his weekend fly fishing or foraging in the red zone. He is passionate about our natural environment, is an innovator in the kitchen, and shares our ethos around organics.

The Cellar Door is open Thursday through to Sunday, with the four-course menu changing weekly.

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