Hospitality Business Magazine

A new restaurant creating its own category

rsz_pasture_web_108A new independent restaurant set to create its own category in Auckland’s dining scene has opened its doors in Parnell.

Pasture is the concept of talented international chef Ed Verner and his wife Laura, who were inspired to create a small restaurant that brought to life their visions from years of local and international fine dining experience and travel. Pasture serves innovative food and drink from an open kitchen, and uses fire as its main cooking medium.

A thoughtfully crafted restaurant of the kind never seen before in New Zealand, Pasture has its own path that does not quite fit the label of fine dining, nor bistro – instead, it crafts food and drink of the highest quality for an exemplary dining experience, with a more accessible price point and laidback, humble approach.

“For us, it’s all about creating a place where guests can enjoy delicious, creative food made by highly skilled chefs, in a fun and personal atmosphere with exceptional service,” says Ed Verner, head chef and co-founder of Pasture.

“We want people to walk away feeling like they’ve had an unforgettable time, having enjoyed our more relaxed approach, and experienced our food philosophies – as if they’ve become part of the Pasture family,” Ed continues.

Pasture combines this curated approach to dining with a strong focus on sustainability and gastronomic discovery. The restaurant offers one tasting menu to give diners a complete and crafted experience, which also allows the team to be more conscious and minimise food waste.

Between Wednesdays and Saturdays, Pasture will offer a six-course set menu with beverage matches, including a non-alcoholic juice option, chosen to enhance the dishes with exciting pairings. With just 25 seats available in a space designed around the open-plan kitchen, the result is a truly unique and intimate dining occasion. On Sundays, Pasture further embraces an unfussy vibe, serving up a more rustic, relaxed menu designed to be shared over a bottle of quality wine.

“This concept means our team can change pace and cook differently, as if we were at home preparing a meal for family and friends. As a chef, the Sunday dishes allow me to make the most of the produce we use in our tasting menus. Fine dining techniques can be wasteful and I want my kitchen to be mindful and considered in everything we do,” says Ed.

Taking inspiration from nature, the rural roots of its cuisine, local produce, and collaboration with suppliers and growers, the menu is led by what’s in season and enhanced by preserving the abundance of seasons before. Ed and Laura work closely with local suppliers to preserve what is plentiful at the time, in turn keeping them connected to the detail of the land. Many of the ingredients are foraged for, and as much of the food and drink as possible is made from scratch using natural, authentic ingredients – right down to the handmade wine matches.

This focus on detail translates through to Pasture’s sourdough bread made with organic, locally-grown flour and specialty grains, which are ground in a granite mill. There are no shortcuts taken, with grains sprouted and flour milled daily in an effort to produce a flavour that Ed believes has been forgotten.

Pasture is open now with a set menu Wednesday to Saturday from 6pm. From Sunday 4 September 2016, the restaurant will also be open every Sunday from 5pm. Coffee, handmilled flour and a limited run of sourdough will be sold from the bakery door from 1pm, from Sunday, 4 September 2016 onwards.