“I could draw a circle with a 5km radius around our kitchen and cover an amazing range of the produce we use,” says Saint Clair Vineyard Kitchen chef Keith Gregory.
With a background working for some of the world’s biggest hotel chains in New Zealand and London, joining the Saint Clair team has allowed him freedom to focus on seasonal and locally produced food, he says.
“The range and quality of food grown and produced right here in Marlborough is simply amazing.”
“There’s something about using rockmelon grown 500 metres down the road, or saffron grown in our neighbour’s vineyards that really appeals not only to me, but a growing number of people.”
Many visitors to the Vineyard Kitchen are from overseas and a Marlborough-centric menu means we offer a uniquely Marlborough experience, he says.
Marlborough Green Lip mussels, Ora King Salmon, Marlborough Garlic, Premium Game Salami, Cranky Goat and Kaikoura Cheeses, Two Short Dogs Olives, plus Renaissance Beers are just some of the locally sourced products incorporated in our menu.
Many products, such as the smoky, caramelised Garlic Noir and Goat Halloumi cheese has sparked a lot of interest, and guests are thrilled to find them at Pataka (the deli and gift shop adjacent to the restaurant), so they can try them out at home.
“We’ve got a great relationship with Pataka, who are also passionate about supporting small New Zealand producers.”
“It’s not necessarily cheaper, but people are thinking more about the provenance of their food and how it’s produced.”
Saint Clair has also built a couple of raised garden beds behind the kitchen so we’ve got access to fresh herbs and greens year round, Keith says.
“It might sound a bit clichéd, but we’re out there most days picking leaves for salads and herbs for dressings and garnishes.”
Our new winter menu has been launched, you can check it out here.