Category Archives: Food wine and hospitality

An inspirational food trip to Wanaka

Guest Post by Ben Carpenter, Executive Chef, Pegasus Golf & Sports Club

Well here I go again, giving you all an insight into the wonderful , evocative and highly inspirational world of Pegasus Sports and Golf Club, from a Chef’s perspective.

Talking of perspectives, wow…. did Brett, Clare and I get a new one on our visit down to Wanaka for the Infinity Group staff party!

We had the chance to explore Wanaka and what an amazing set up down there; the work that Bob and his team have done in  helping to shape what Wanaka is now, blew us all away. Jen Robertson gave us the full guided tour, with refuelling stops included; Jen thank you so much for being the perfect hostess.

We managed to take in the awesome view, on what we up here in blown-to-the-wind Canterbury could only describe as a perfect day (27 degrees no wind, not a cloud in the sky!)  Great accommodation at the Wyndham Vacation Resorts and on it goes.

Anyway it was all good and helped us all to appreciate what our employer, Infinity Group, is about, how a dream can really happen, and that a good team around a motivated thinker like Bob Robertson means all dreams are possible. So what’s next and count me in Bob ???!!!!

Food.. yes there are some nice cafes in Wanaka, pretty sure Jen took us to them all. The one that impressed the most was the first place we went to, Ritual Café, run by an opera singer from Wellington; great service, hotcakes and excellent coffee. Tables on the street but unfortunately no view of the lake.

Oh yes Christmas is here …. functions, functions and more b…. functions. What I’ve done with the ham this year is served it with a maple glaze and fresh new season cherries. I cook the cherries in a large pan (stalk and all) with equal amounts of red wine vinegar, red wine, a dash of balsamic vinegar, a little brown sugar and a cinnamon quill or two, reduce till the cherries are starting to glaze, but do not cook to a pulp: we like to see the cherries lovely whole and shiny. Simply place with ham when serving, yum yum! Must run got more b… functions to do!

Oh by the way, how was the staff party? Great!! The theme was The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and there were some really strange costumes… takes all to make the world. I hear tell there may be some photos floating around somewhere in cyberspace… oh well to busy to look ####


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Sharing a true passion for food

Guest post by Ben Carpenter, Executive Chef at The Bunker Bar, Pegasus Golf & Sports Club

Well, where do I start? Oh, did I tell you that yes I am back on a motorcycle after having a forced break? Yes, this chef likes riding bikes – sometimes at speed that is not conducive to a happy relationship with Mr. Plod. Well I have now chosen a more refined motorbike which still provides me with loads of riding fun, but is not so attractive for Mr. Plod!

Hark! I hear you say, what type of bike is it? A wonderful, stylish, well crafted Triumph Thruxton café racer. It’s just ideal for a jaunt over the Lewis Pass, very sweet for my daily commute to Pegasus from Christchurch. Hey does that make me a biker? I think so!

Sorry I do digress, was I not supposed to be discussing in depth the life, soul and feel for food that as a chef of 30 years I possess? Yes I did say 30 years. It must be time to retire, or even better take off in the sun on my Triumph to the land of open roads, sun and free riding… Wow that was a bit too cosmic!

Back to the job at hand… Here at Pegasus we are responsible for the day to day running of two cafés, The Bunker Bar at the golf course and the Flat White Café in the township. Life is good; we have a very good team in both operations and customer numbers are on the rise.

It is winter and this has required changing the menu. I like to follow the seasons and use what is available at the time. Winter is interesting as the focus tends to be on root vegetables (ie parsnip, kumara and pumpkin etc.), pulses, rice and more carbs. It can be a little tricky to create something new, but yet again we have managed to succeed.

Dishes such as Crispy Duck Breast Salad with a pistachio nut and cranberry vinaigrette, Fish Pie filled with local seafood and served with a twist, or the old classic but goodie Fillet Steak Sandwich with red onion relish. Tempted? Well just cruise into Pegasus – on your bike if you have one – if not I suppose a car will suffice, and enter into the Pegasus food experience!

Ok I have to sign off now, food to cook, people to please and a passion for cooking that is never quelled.

Bon appétit,


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