New Zealand’s unique new wilderness restaurant accessible by helicopter or 4WD only
Deep in the heart of New Zealand’s central North Island, bordering the vast Whanganui and Tongariro National Parks, is a remote and beautiful farm and conservation project named Blue Duck Station. Until earlier this month, it welcomed a unique pop-up restaurant on its highest ridge – accessible only by chopper or four-wheel drive – The Chef’s Table at Blue Duck Station, orchestrated by up-and-coming British chef Jack Cashmore. The experience is now on track to become a permanent remote fine-dining experience.
Jack brings his passion for taste and knowledge of cuisine from time spent at two Michelin-starred establishments, Sat Bains (Nottingham) and In de Wulf (Dranouter, Belgium), and as Head Chef at Anglo in London. Before In de Wulf closed in 2017, it had featured in several of the top global restaurant lists.
Jack’s 10-course degustation menu is largely inspired by, and sourced from, the wild and beautiful station. It uses only sustainable products such as foraged native ingredients like the wood ear mushrooms and the herbal and floral dish known as ‘Rosemary’s Garden’, along with farm meats.
The stripped-back fine-dining experience rewards diners with stunning views of the Tongariro and Whanganui national parks, where the triple volcanic peaks of Tongariro, Mount Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe reveal themselves on a clear day. In the stillness of the summer evening, shy native wildlife such as native bats, kiwis and glow worms can be seen and heard.
Following the success of the pop-up experience which ran until 9 March 2019, a new permanent restaurant will aim to be fully sustained by its remote suroundings. It will be constructed in the same location over this winter and will open its doors for summer 2020.