Peppers on the Point, Lake Rotorua
Peppers on the Point's Chef Craig Martin has been named Outstanding Chef at the prestigious Rotorua Hospitality awards.
The 35-year-old local recently won the coveted accolade after being voted by his industry peers at a Gala Awards night.
Craig says he's overwhelmed by the recognition. "It's a huge honour to be given this by my peers, and I'm grateful to Peppers for all the support and help they've given me. It's a fantastic environment here, we're like a small family, and we've all worked hard for this success."
Peppers on the Point Lake Rotorua is an intimate luxury retreat with spectacular lake views across to the historic Mokoia Island. Built more than 80 years ago, the two-storied lodge mansion was carefully refurbished under the direction of a leading New Zealand interior designer to retain the original charm and design of the 1930's. Formerly a family home, the lodge features large entertaining rooms with open fireplaces, a timber-panelled dining room and a magnificent timber staircase.
Peppers on the Point's Chef, Craig Martin
Craig first worked at Peppers on the Point fine dining restaurant in 2007 for 3 years, before jetting off to Melbourne where one of his career highlights included working at Melbourne's hippest ultra-lounge Club 23 At Crown Casino. There he catered at the after parties to the stars and also spent time at Attica, rated 21st best restaurant in the world.
Craig returned to Rotorua in January this year and says his food philosophy is simple; Passion to Plate, putting the best ingredients in their best form in front of diners, and using local produce whenever he can.
Craig says his goal now is to keep putting Rotorua on the culinary map.
"I often think of food as being like technology, you have to keep up with it, so I'm always looking for new inspiration from around the world."
Peppers on the Point is renowned for its fine dining, and Chef Craig comes up with a new four-course table d'hote dinner each day to wow tourists and locals who come to dine.
"I love cooking every day, and the best thing I hope for is a pile of empty plates coming back to the kitchen, or even an invitation to meet the happy customers."