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Bevan Smith believes good food does not need to be complicated. Fresh ingredients, simply prepared, often make for the most memorable of meals. Whether it's freshly dug new potatoes, just boiled and buttered, or green beans straight from the garden, eating seasonally makes complete sense, not only because it's better value but also for the simple fact that the food is fresher and tastier, he says.
In his monthly Chef's Garden column, Bevan shares his philosophy and recipes with Otago Daily Times readers, demonstrating how to make the most of fresh, seasonal produce - something he does daily at Riverstone Kitchen in North Otago. He and his wife Monique established the restaurant with its vegetable gardens and orchards in 2006, after moving home to start a family.
Born in Northland, after training as a chef Bevan headed overseas and worked at prestigious restaurants such as Terence Conran's La Pont de la Tour and Michael Caine's Canteen, in London. Later, in Australia, he became head chef at Philip Johnson's acclaimed écco bistro in Brisbane. Fast becoming one of New Zealand's most recognized chefs, he feels the same high standards recognized in first-class restaurants should be utilized
anywhere in the world and he endeavors to use that approach in his North Otago restaurant.
Riverstone Kitchen was Supreme Winner in Cuisine magazine's New Zealand Restaurant of the Year 2010 and joint winner in their class in 2011. Bevan's first cook book, Riverstone Kitchen - Recipes from a Chef's Garden, was published by HarperCollins in October 2011and his second, Riverstone Kitchen - Simple, is due for release in November 2012.