Two chefs designing a plate assembly line

Resident chef and co-owner of Ode, Lucas Parkinson, recently collaborated with chef Nick Honeyman of Paris Butter. The duo produced an exclusive menu for the beloved Wanaka restaurant, where diners were treated to a five-course meal. Restaurant and Café spoke to chef Parkinson to get the scoop on the latest collaboration and discover the inspiration behind the menu.

The chefs met nearly two years ago after Honeyman reached out to share his appreciation for the Wanaka-based chef’s creations. The two planned a collaboration, but sadly just a few weeks before their meeting, the Ode kitchen caught fire. However, this did not stop the duo, and in 2018 during the Phoenix Tour, their first official collaboration finally happened.

“The event in Ode Wanaka was the much-awaited return visit for Team Paris Butter following the Phoenix tour collaboration,” shared Parkinson. “It was a great night. Collaborations are always a ball of fun, learning and bonding.”

The first course on the menu was called ‘Back in The Playground,’ – a dish inspired by the chefs’ constantly-changing menu created in the culinary playground that is Ode’s kitchen.

Second in the line-up was ‘Our Mate Nate’ which showcased the produce from Gravity Fishing, a sustainable New Zealand based fishing company owned by Nathan or ‘Nate’.

For the main course, ‘Social Acceptance’ was served to guests. Parkinson described the dish as a “refined but hearty take on the classic South Island meat and three veg.”

As a pre-dessert meal, ‘That’s the One’ made the rounds. The pair used Nelson oranges and local sumac to create a tangy sorbet and added charred lemonade and angel rocks for depth and crunch.

“We called it that, because everyone in the kitchen that day kept saying ‘that’s the one!’ all day, so when it came time to name the dishes we thought ‘that’s the one!’”.

To finish off the five-course meal, they served ‘The Honey Man’ - a dessert starring nostalgia-inducing chocolate bars, Crunchie and Bounty. The dessert is the first-time chocolate has ever been included in the Ode 2.0 menu.

Parkinson emphasised the importance of collaborations between chefs and restaurant owners to fuel creativity, excitement and long-lasting friendships in the industry. He thanked Honeyman and his team for being open to the collaboration, and his partner Larissa, event organiser and marketing head Arna Craig as well as chefs Zennon, Phil and Jack for helping out during the event.