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, Blue Duck Station, and on its highest ridge – accessible only by chopper or four-wheel drive – is New Zealand’s most unique new restaurant: The Chef’s Table at Blue Duck Station.
The Chef’s Table at Blue Duck Station is an extraordinary dining experience orchestrated by up-and-coming British chef Jack Cashmore.
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.
The Chef’s Table at Blue Duck Station is remote, refined and celebrates the land. The aim is to have the restaurant fully sustained by the 7200 acres of Blue Duck Station.
Jack’s 10-course degustation menu is largely inspired by and sourced from the wild and beautiful station using 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 and unique fine dining experience under the starlit sky at Blue Duck Station will reward 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.
The current restaurant is a pop-up version of what is to come from The Chef’s Table at Blue Duck Station. The pop-up dinners are hosted during this summer season and will run until 9 March 2019. A new permanent restaurant will be constructed in the same location over this winter and will open its doors for summer 2020.
About The Chef’s Table, Blue Duck Station
- The Chef’s Table is located at Blue Duck Station, 4265 Oio Road, RD2, Owhango.
- Dining at the Chef’s Table begins with an all-terrain vehicle bush safari through Blue Duck Station’s conservation project to protect native bird life and rainforest.
- The fine dining experience includes a 10-course degustation menu sourced mainly from the farm.
- Jack Cashmore has worked in some of Europe’s top restaurants. Having started out at Restaurant Sat Bains (voted UK’s best restaurant), he then moved to the critically acclaimed "In De Wulf" in Belgium. In between trips to Blue Duck Station, Jack also opened the popular London Restaurant "Anglo’.
- The Chefs Table is available for groups of 2 – 6 people, $225 per person.
- Dinner is served Fridays and Saturdays, during this summer season (11 January – 9 March 2019)
- Accommodation can be arranged for guests in Whakahoro, at a Blue Duck Station Lodge.
About Blue Duck Station
- Blue Duck Station is an environmentally minded, conservation driven, sheep and beef station steeped in the back-country terrain of the King Country and on the Whanganui river.
- It exists alongside an eco-tourism business which seeks to share the beauty of New Zealand with visitors by offering rustic accomodation at five lodges and outdoor activities such as horse trekking, canoeing, jet boating and hiking.
- The lodges efforts to preserve the endangered blue duck (whio) and North Island brown kiwi are supported by manuka honey production and sustainable, innovative farming techniques.
- Farmer, conservationist and tourism personality Dan Steele is a pioneering New Zealand farmer who has dedicated his life’s work to a sustainable and environmentally-minded New Zealand. Having gained international acclaim for conservation efforts at Blue Duck Station, he was awarded a Nuffield Agricultural Fellowship in 2015.