Good Eats

by Anna


While being in such close proximity to Chef Jay during our stay in Queenstown, there was no lack of good eating to be had! On his day off Jay graciously invited us over to his new “cottage in the countryside” for dinner. After a quick stop to check out the quaintly-preserved mining town of Arrowtown on the way, we drove further into the hillsides and sheep pastures, past a hand-written sign advertising “Horse Poo” and down a narrow dirt track to Jay’s place. His new ‘bachelor pad’ that he’s sharing with his friend Vaughan could seriously be in the pages of Town & Country magazine. The most picturesque little cottage greeted us, surrounded by green rolling hills, sheep and the jagged peaks of ‘The Remarkables’ in the distance. Jay, being the debonaire host that he is, had even put bouquets of wildflowers on the table to welcome us. We had such a wonderful afternoon, enjoying the sunshine and some bottles of Amisfield wine, while Jay brought us smoked salmon with cucumbers and dill yogurt on baguettes…I LOVE having a chef in the family! Following the appetizers Jay presented the main course of lamb with roasted vegetables…yum! Everyone oohed and aahhed over every bite, and there was not a single drop left of sauce or lamb when we were finished. We could have stayed all night, but alas, we had to head home before the dirt roads got too dark…plus, we didn’t want to put the neighboring sheep in jeopardy of being in Big Red’s way.

Jay’s new home
The Remarkables in the distance Jay’s “backyard”
Bouquets of wildflowers made it all the more charming
The chef’s notes The chef’s bounty
Clearly, I was having an awful time!
Jay prepares smoked salmon appetizers Jay and Vaughan hard at work
Mouth-watering lamb with roasted veggies
Enjoying the sunshine Great food + great company = happy people

Our culinary treats didn’t end with our evening at Jay’s house. Seeing as our first lunch at Jay’s restaurant, Amisfield, had been so amazing, we decided that it was necessary to pay it one more visit while in Queenstown. After we drove the scariest road of all time along the edge of a gorge for a little wine tasting at Chard Farm and stopped off to see bungy jumpers flying into the gorge from the Kawaru Suspension Bridge, we settled back in at Amisfield for a lunch fit for kings. Rabbit rillette with apricots, bruschetta with carmelized onions and broad beans and crispy pork belly were just a few of the delectable treats that graced our table. Jay also surprised us with some items we didn’t order, and we ate everything down to the last crumb. Johnny and I savored every bite, as we knew we’d soon be back to peanut butter and honey sandwiches as our standard meal!

All I have to say is that if you ever find yourself in Queenstown, make the trip to Amisfield, because the food is unreal (and you’ll also get the added bonus of seeing Jay in action)! Thanks, Jay, for everything (including all of our bottles of Amisfield wine!).

Rabbit rillette with apricots Mom & Dad
Savoring every bite! Bruschetta with caramelized onions and broad beans
Zucchini & tomato salad with home-made cheese Crispy pork belly with figs
Dessert smorgasbord
Compliments to the chef!!

3 Responses to “Good Eats”

  1. I probably should have listened to the warning and waited until after lunch to read this! How fun that you all got to be together and enjoy some tasty food from such a talented chef! Reading the blog and getting to see pictures is always the highlight of my day…even if it does make my tummy rumble. Miss you guys so much and love you lots XO!


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