Author(s): Peter Gawron
Arrowtown's Saffron restaurant is one of the hottest restaurants in the super-heated Queenstown-Arrowtown Basin. Wealthy tourists, in-the-know foodies, and locals all appreciate the zest and passion with which owner-chef Pete Gawron and his wife Mel run this vibrant, buzzing establishment. Pete and Mel have built a real food empire in Arrowtown over the last 10 years. Across the historic alleyway from Saffron there's the charming Blue Door bar and further along the alley there's the hip pizza joint Pesto. But it's at Saffron that Pete's flavourful cooking style, heavily influenced by Asia and his yearly travels overseas, is best showcased. As is the local produce of which Pete is such a great champion. The Saffron cookbook combines Pete's 80 favourite recipes from the restaurant, many cooked with local ingredients he painstakingly hand-harvests in season (including crab apples and stone fruit borne of trees that date back to the gold mining days, snow berries, varieties of mushroom, wild raspberries and gooseberries, game birds from Bendigo Station, alpine honey from Halfway Bay Station and more).Set alongside outstanding food and landscape photography by both Aaron McLean and Grahame Sydney and with an article on Central Otago wine written by Sam Neill, this magnificently packaged book is both a tribute to a great restaurant and also New Zealand's first true regional cookbook. First published October 2008, Auckland
Australian-born and trained, Saffron's owner-chef Pete Gawron has, with his wife Mel, run his outstanding restaurant for 10 years. During this time he has been honoured by both Conde Nast Traveller and Cuisine magazines. Pete is one of New Zealand's most dedicated chefs: every year in Saffron's brief off-season he travels overseas to further his cooking range. In 2007 he spent a week at a prestigious cooking school in Szechuan province, China, which rarely opens its doors to Westerners. In 2008 he will spend a month working with the legendary Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck, in Bray.