There aren’t many situations where a chef might find themselves working in 6 completely different restaurants, all within a couple of kms of each other – let alone on the top of an operational ski area!
But that’s how our Food & Beverage team at Cardrona manage to feed thousands of visitors every day in our 6 distinctly different restaurants & cafés.
Our Cardrona chefs leave Wanaka between 6 & 7am every day to head up the mountain. The Base Café, Mezz Café, Little Meg, Juice & Java & Noodle Bar teams all serve breakfast items, so need to be up on the mountain bright & early – it’s all systems go from the moment they arrive!
The Captain’s Café team has a slightly different start to their day. Ever wondered how all that food gets across to Captain’s? The first thing they do is load a huge box with ingredients which is taken by a groomer across to Captain’s Basin. Then the Captain’s Café staff ski or snowboard to the bottom of Whitestar Express, ride the lift & head across to the basin to start their day.
Because most of our guests spend just the day at Cardrona, the organized chaos really begins at 11am when lunch service begins. The teams spend 3 hours keeping up with orders at Mezz & Noodle Bar, restocking cabinets at Captain’s & Base, & refueling energy levels at Juice & Java & Little Meg. It’s fast-paced action, with lots of people trying to work quickly in a fairly small space.
But it’s not all hot stoves & chaos in our on-mountain restaurants. When things quieten down at 2pm each day, our F&B team often get the chance to sample the other goods on offer at Cardrona & go skiing or snowboarding! Then the afternoon is spent preparing for the next day, & the Mezz Café dinner service for our apartments guests.
The team up here at Cardrona reckon the biggest difference between working on a mountain rather than a restaurant in town, other than being able to ski & snowboard, is the logistical side of things. If we run out of something on the mountain, we can’t just run to the shops & get it – our F&B team has to think 3 days ahead to order ingredients, for them to arrive on the mountain, then get distributed out to all the outlets.
Cardrona’s menu is constantly changing & improving – we want our food & drink to surprise you with its flavour & quality. We use locally-sourced ingredients in 6 outlets with distinct food identities. The goal is to exceed expectations for what is possible on an alpine resort!