Meet Executive Chef Greg Piner of Dunedin’s Vault 21
If you love good food, you’ll already know Dunedin’s Vault 21. What you may not know is the story behind the Vault 21 Outstanding Winner Dinner; here Executive Chef Greg Piner lets us in on the secrets to engineering a memorable menu.
Greg Piner is an international award-winning chef, having worked with many leading restaurants around New Zealand and serving as Executive Chef at Vault 21 and Prohibition Smokehouse in Dunedin since 2016. Greg has designed a special menu for our Outstanding Winner Dinner on Thursday 16 August, and he tells us about creating this unique menu inspired by New Zealand’s world-class produce.
See below for the full menu and contact information for Vault 21.
Q: In putting together this menu, were there any products you hadn’t seen before that stood out?
A: The Genevieve’s Mahurangi Oyster Mousse, is bloody amazing and so is The Clevedon Buffalo Mozzarella.
Q: Putting together this menu, you had so much award-winning produce to choose from how do you pull it together for a menu?
A: I try to make sure that the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Award product is the hero. So, in the amuse-bouche, you really get a taste of the Genevieve’s Mahurangi Oyster Mousse and the Prodigal Daughter Cured Salmon. It’s about putting the spotlight on the produce as the hero of the dish, which is really important.
There’s a story behind each product, like with Homegrown Farm Fresh Meats and Genevieve’s—I’m quite fizzed about it! I like the traceability and sustainability. It makes you proud to be a Kiwi. These products can compete with the best from around the world, they’re that good.
Q: In considering the menu as a whole, how do you tell a consistent story between the dishes?
A: It’s a challenge! I like to start out light and let the dishes get heavier as the menu progresses. It’s like a marathon, you wouldn’t want to go full spring and start out with a heavy course like the lamb. It’s called ‘menu engineering’ and it’s a bit of an art.
Q: How would you describe the Dunedin food scene?
A: I reckon Dunedin food is getting better and better, and chefs around town are becoming more open and collaborative. We share staff and develop relationships with each other’s restaurants. It’s more of a community because we want the best for Dunedin. We’ve got some amazing chefs in Dunedin …and we live in such an amazing place, and I get a bit passionate about the local produce.
See Greg’s menu below. His dinner is sure to book out, at $90 for four courses matched to Ara wines from Marlborough it’s great value. Organise a group of foodie friends and book with Vault 21 by Sunday 12 August!
Phone: 03 425 9181
Website with online booking: www.vault21.co.nz
Plan to arrive at 6pm for amuse-bouche and drinks at 21 The Octagon
VAULT 21 WINNER DINNER MENU
Yellow fin tuna cracker with Genevieve’s Mahurangi Oyster Mousse, micro coriander
Prodigal Daughter Cured Salmon with fried capers, baby watercress, zest, cracker pepper vinaigrette
Giesen Classic Cuvée on arrival followed by 2016 Ara Single Estate Pinot Gris
Turks Corn-fed Free Range Fresh Butterflied Chicken tacos with sriracha chilli and lime, toasted sesame and miso dressing
2016 Ara Single Estate Chardonnay
Nugget Point blue cod with THE WHOLE MIX Zucchini Noodles, smoked Pinoli Premium Pine Nut crumb, ripped Clevedon Buffalo Co. Marinated Buffalo Mozzarella, basil, lemon
2016 Ara Single Estate Pinot Gris
Roasted Homegrown Farm Fresh Lamb loin, with lamb neck spring roll, black garlic jus, potato fondant, pepper jam
2016 Ara Single Estate Pinot Noir
Whitestone Cheese Company Ohau Goat’s Blue with Jenny’s Kitchen Tamarind Chutney and oat crackers
2014 Ara Single Estate Cut Cane Sauvignon Blanc
Video and images © Vault 21 2018, reproduced with permission.