Opening on the 5th August, Verve magazine has featured Parnell’s newest addition to the hospitality sector – Pasture
In the words of Jamie Christian Desplaces for Verve-
This month, husband and wife team Ed and Laura Verner open the doors to an all new and wholly unique Parnell eatery.
“Our vision is for food inspired by nature, created with a fine dining technique and served in a fun and relaxed atmosphere,” says Laura. “The simplicity of our dishes will belie the number of hours that go into them. The menu will be driven by seasonal plants and vegetables, and meats will be unusual cuts. Ed is very passionate about butchery.”
Rather than buying in pre-cut meats, Ed will buy in “half an animal” at a time then prepare it himself in-house. “Various parts of the meat will be used for various parts of the menu,” says Laura, “and what can’t be cooked will be cured.”
Sustainability is a big part of the couple’s philosophy. While many fine dining establishments use only the prettiest parts of their produce, Pasture plans to minimise waste. Sundays will see the introduction of an a la carte menu enabling the chefs to get creative with what’s left.
The open plan design means guests can watch the magic unfold in the kitchen, while the food will be served by the chefs. “Because our dishes are so innovative and unusual, people will want to ask questions,” says Laura. “So they’ll be able to ask the actual person who made them.”
Traditional techniques such as fermenting, pickling and preserving will play a prominent part. “These old school methods were born out of necessity in the days before refrigeration,” says Laura. “You harvested what was abundant and made sure that it would last throughout the year. We have been preserving the seasons for well over a year now and have this incredible library of flavours. It’s an enjoyable process, it’s traditional, and takes you back to your roots.”
Each of the six courses of the degustation menu will be accompanied by a recommended organic wine, beer, or spirit: “We would like to encourage people to allow us to take them on a journey. All of our wines are organic and biodynamic and predominantly from New Zealand. We’re very keen to promote the natural wine industry here in New Zealand, to support small independent vineyards which share our philosophy and believe in doing things differently. We want to be an outlet for that.”
Non-alcoholic handmade beverages such as vegetable juices or kombucha will be available for the drivers and teetotalers, too. By day, a section of the building will open to serve French press coffee and their own freshly bread baked. There is no gas, with all food cooked over a real fire. Out back, there’s even a research and development area.
The intimate space contains just 25 seats.
“We want it be understated,” says Laura. “We don’t want to create a fine dining environment where you are worried about using the right fork. We want it to be fun. Pasture is our idea of the perfect restaurant. It won’t be for everyone, but it is an authentic expression of what motivates us, of what we think is delicious and beautiful. Pasture is the sum of us.”
Pasture is situated at no 235 Parnell Road, in the alleyway behind Hattitude