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In New Zealand, Food as Dramatic and Diverse as its Scenery

Travel + Leisure post by Sean Fennessy

[...] Sullivans influence ricocheted down through the years and landed, most notably, at Roots, a tiny spot in Lyttelton run by young Chilean chef Giulio Sturla and his American wife, Christy. I had stopped for lunch on my way to Annandale because Id read that Roots had recently been named New Zealands Restaurant of the Year. The bare-bones dining room was like the culmination of Sullivans locavore journey, but certain culinary markersof Ren Redzepis heightened sensibilities, of Sturlas global visionpointed toward a new destination. On the day I visited, an Asian-y whiff lingered around the menu, as if Sturla had recently come back from Tokyo or Seoul with a suitcase full of ingredients; more recent menus lay a Latin foundation of tacos and ceviches. My five-course lunch, all served on hand-thrown pottery, included hapuku fish in foamy saffron broth, pumpkin gnocchi splashed with dashi, pork rillettes flecked with black garlic, and foraged greens sprouting from every dish, including dessert. I had all local wines, of course. The meal perfectly caught the spirit of modern cooking right nowI almost could have been back home in Los Angeles. [...]

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