December 5, 2017
Tantalising flavours treat travellers
NEW Zealand’s best fresh produce and dishes, married with the complex, aromatic flavours of Asia, are delighting Auckland Airport’s Strata Lounge visitors.
In September, the $4 million lounge opened its doors to international travellers inviting them to relax in a contemporary space, while enjoying fine cuisine and a variety of beverages.
Bringing his European flair to the menu, Compass’s Head Chef Vadim Zerr is also collaborating with celebrity Kiwi chef Brett McGregor to create inspiring seasonal menus and dishes. Vadim has fine dining experience in both Europe, Australia and Asia. He has also cooked for top restaurants in Auckland and Queenstown.
“Our main menu is healthy, fresh and international with amazing New Zealand flavours; Brett’s dishes will add that extra special ‘Masterchef’ element,” says Vadim, adding that New Zealand has a vibrant cuisine scene, enriched by a tapestry of cultures.
“We are serving a mix of European dishes like our German sauerkraut salad – fermented vegetables are popular right now – and Asian flavours, such as vegetarian style noodles made with a sauce I especially created from my experience cooking in Asia.”
The opportunity to cook in a new lounge and state-of-the-art kitchen is something most chefs “only dream about”, says Vadim.
“Compass and Auckland Airport encourage me, and our international team of five chefs, to be creative with our menus. Each chef has their own character, food touch and experience and we all cook and produce with lots of passion and love. At the same time, we’re very focused on ensuring everything we prepare is of a consistent standard and quality.
“Each day, people thank us; they show me a thumb’s up through the large glass theatre wall into the kitchen. That is the biggest reward!”
Masterchef NZ’s first winner Brett agrees, adding “Being able to create seasonal dishes to complement the existing menu is a great way for me to be part of an incredible team. We have a unique opportun ity to create something that stands out from the crowd and I’m looking forward to bringing my love of Asian cuisine to some of the dishes.
“We want diners to think this is the best lounge in the world – not only through fantastic flavours, but through a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere that makes the diner want more.”