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New Zealanders have never been shy of innovation. That creativity extends to the kitchen. New Zealand food and wine regularly features in leading lifestyle magazines around the globe. Fish and chips, once served wrapped in newspaper are now more likely to come delivered on the cover.

It is however, the availability of fresh ingredients that remains the key. From the nostalgic favourites like lamb and whitebait fritters to inspired wild food, the country’s fresh produce adds flavour to the finest plates. New Zealand’s Luxury Lodges deliver private dining experiences in stunning alpine, rural and coastal settings.

New Zealand dining is far from pretentious however, as it’s the chefs themselves who are likely to be scouring the farmers markets and meeting the fishing boats at dawn. One of the country’s best known Chefs, Al Brown, made a series called Get Fresh which captures that very essence. Al founded the acclaimed Logan Brown Restaurant in Wellington in 1996 with Steve Logan and more recently Depot in Auckland. He is a great ambassador for New Zealand food.

Wellington is about to welcome another great addition to the cuisine scene. The world famous Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School is opening a multi-million dollar facility in the capital city this year.

In the Bay of Islands we have an existing catering institute at Kerikeri. The Culinary Institute of New Zealand specialises in professional chef and hospitality training. Locals can sample the talents of the up and coming chefs at regular events and many of those trained, go on to commercial kitchens in the area.

As a holiday destination, people like to eat out here and there’s a great selection of restaurants and cafes in this area.  Picnics and barbecues are also popular given the climate and relaxed way of life.  Marine cuisine is high on the menu with seafood passing straight from the ocean to the grill – on board boats and at home.

Complete outdoor kitchens are proving popular in catering to the New Zealand way of life. By adding stylish awnings, bi-folds and retractable glass, the integration of indoor and outdoor areas provides for luxurious coastal living.

(Pictured: Luxury real estate Bay of Islands – Paroa Bay )