Pacifica restaurant of the year puts people first

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Chef Jeremy Rameka runs the country's top restaurant, Pacifica, situated along Napier's Marine Parade after he scooped New Zealand's top restaurant award at this year's Cuisine Good Food Awards.

"It's going to open up a lot of doors definitely but I've got stay level headed, but utmost and foremost, it's about the restaurant, it's about the people, I've never done this for myself anyway, I wouldn't know how to," says Rameka.

His restaurant serves up a five course degustation menu that sources as much local ingredients as possible including seafood.

"Yes, five courses for $50, it's been that way for the last four years," he says.

Keeping the prices affordable is important to him because he says that it makes his menu accessible for everybody.

He grew up in the small settlement of Kakahi in Waikato and has worked as a chef for 25 years not only here in New Zealand but overseas as well.

Staying true to his Māori heritage and culture is important to him and is reflected in his menu "I draw from it," he says.

"I draw from the history, from our ancestors, that's what I look at and I thank them a lot."

He has run his restaurant for 11 years now and was also the 2016 recipient of the best regional restaurant of the year award.