A newly announced alliance between Pilsner Urquell, the original Pilsner beer from the Czech Republic and four New Zealand craftsmen is a celebration of the individual disciplines and the value of collaboration. Three of Pilsner Urquell’s new associates ply their trade in Auckland, while the fourth makes his mark from Omakau, Central Otago.
The first is Dariush Lolaiy, co-owner and head chef of Auckland’s Cazador restaurant in Balmoral, specialising in the preparation and knowledge of game meats. A respected and long established family restaurant for the past 25 years, Cazador is a unique establishment built on integrity and passion.
Second is Andrew Fearnside, owner of Wild Wheat Bakery in Pakuranga, a leading producer of artisan, European inspired specialty breads found in many of Auckland’s leading cafés, restaurants and food stores.
Third is Dave Rossiter of Westmere Butchery, a family owned and operated award winning business in the heart of Auckland City that was voted Best Butchery in 2006, 2008 and 2010 in Metro Magazine, and fourth knife maker Peter Lorimer, who works in the backblocks of Otago but his hand-crafted knives are renowned world-wide including at Peter Gordon’s Providores restaurant in London.
As an integral element of the collaboration, Peter Lorimer has been talking to Dariush, Andrew and Dave about how they can work together to keep alive their traditions in the context of each craft. Peter travelled to meet with each craftsman to understand each discipline and preferences in terms of his perfect bespoke knife. Returning to his workshop Peter interpreted his insights designing a knife for the chef, the baker and the butcher.
For their part, Dariush and Andrew prepared the food for the official launch of Pilsner Urquell in Auckland using the beer to inspire their creations. Guests at the launch in Auckland’s North Wharf area dined on lamb’s tongue fries and suckling pig alongside traditional European breads and a sourdough made using Pilsner Urquell.
To further his knowledge, Dariush is also making a pilgrimage to the source in the Czech Republic town of Plzen where the beer has been brewed for 172 years, following an event he’s hosting at Cazador for 20 prominent Auckland crafts people in a celebration of their artisanship.