A test kitchen for award-winning Parnell restaurant Pasture, Alpha is a bakery and top brunch joint by day and secret innovation hub by night. Break your fast with a sorrel-cream doughnut or kanelbullar (Swedish-style cinnamon bun given added oomph with the likes of blackcurrant, fennel flowers and cacao nibs), or sit down to an experimental brunch. Anything featuring Pasture’s famed sourdough bread with aged butter is bound to be a winner – particularly when washed down with a cup of organic Kōkako coffee.
Born in Japan and based in Tāmaki Makaurau with a Chinese husband and degree, Sachie’s Kitchen creator Sachie Nomura is on a mission to teach Kiwis how to cook proper Asian food.
Led by a talented team of chefs from across the continent, the 2.5- to 3-hour classes each focus on one type of cuisine: Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian or Malaysian.
Fully sustainable from its worm farms and compost heaps to its energy-efficient appliances and biodegradable cleaning products, the school has also partnered with Nourish the Children to feed one hungry child each time someone takes a class.
Take one of the seven seats at the counter at Pasture, where chef Ed Verner uses old-school techniques such as curing, fermenting and wood-fire cooking to create imaginative meals truly deserving of the word epic (allow about three hours to make your way through the ever-surprising set menu). The focus here is on using whole animals and line-caught fish.