At Personalised estate-grown and regional-ingredient cuisine – with a 21st century twist’ -the gourmet dining promise of Wharekauhau Country Estate
Chef Tim Smith promises every guest exceptional modern cuisine at Wharekauhau Country Estate, daily featuring the finest estate-grown and regional produce of the fertile Wairarapa District, one of the New Zealand’s top gourmet and wine destinations.
Internationally trained and experienced, Chef Smith meets guests to discuss upcoming menus and invites them to learn about the produce they’ll dine on over a drink before dinner. and signature dish is Wharekauhau’s Texel lamb, bred and reared on the lush year-round grasses and flowering herbage of the estate’s 5000 acres of meadow and farmland. Relatively new to New Zealand, Texel lamb marbles fine, sweet fat through its flesh, exactly the way Japan’s famed Wagyu beef does, giving unrivalled succulence and flavour that wins every competition.
For guaranteed freshness and flavour, Wharekauhau’s pesticide-free gardens produce much that complements the top-class lamb, beef, poultry, seafood and fish served. Saladings, herbs, tomatoes, asparagus - even watercress - are all produced on-site, plus the Pajaro strawberry, famed for its superior taste; wild comb honey of exceptional flavour is regularly collected from the pristine native wilderness.
Chef Smith likens his role to cooking for the traditional regional tables of the world’s great, self- reliant country estates before refrigeration, freezers and pre-packs – ‘ but with 21st century twists’. Every morning Smith drives off to specialist suppliers seeking what is best on that day – to get the finest fish sometimes means a four-hour trip. By late morning he is at his workbench crafting dishes to the preferred tastes of that night’s guests.
Days might begin with such treats as home-made strawberry jam or crab-apple jelly on the kitchen’s own breads. Dinner can include home-smoked freshly catch fish, fig and honey relish, rhubarb and honey chutneys – even wild honeycomb ice cream. ‘Everything is done to give the best, full Wairarapa experience.