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Chef Craig Martin

Award winning chef Craig Martin of Annandale Villas began his culinary journey in his home town of Rotorua, a city famous around the world for its bubbling mud pools, natural hot springs and Maori culture.

 He honed his skills in local restaurants and cafes, developing a passion for showcasing the finest New Zealand ingredients before finding his niche in the luxury sector, where he has worked for the past 12 years.

 

Craig’s ‘passion to plate’ philosophy - putting the best ingredients in their best form in front of diners - has seen him plate up in some of the most exclusive lodges in the world, such as Treetops Lodge, Peppers on the Point, Solitare Lodge and currently at the exquisite Annandale Luxury Villas.

Set on the Banks Peninsula, Annandale is a XXXX hectare working farm with the Pacific Ocean, full of paua, crayfish, green lip mussels and fresh seaweed on one side and hills flush with native indigenous ingredients, such as horopito and kawakawa, on the other.

 

Craig uses ingredients from the Annandale farm, along with foraged products in his food. He loves taking lode guests for walks around the property to show them the best spots to gather paua and mussels or where to pick horopito (native pepper), kawakawa  (bush basil),or horokaka (native ice plant). 

He teaches guests how to use all of the ingredients during cooking classes at Annandale, carefully showcasing the best local ingredients the Banks Peninsula has to offer.

 

His love of showcasing the best ingredients has been a constant theme throughout his career which has seen him work on Maori food trails with internationally renown Maori chef Charles Royal, spend time in the Attica kitchen (ranked 32 in the best restaurants in the world), and cook for celebrities and royalty.

 

Craig has picked up a number of awards during his career and you may have spotted his face on Australia’s Channel 9 with Rebecca Judd or the Asia Food Network with New Zealand food legend Nadia Lim but for now his focus is on infusing native and foraged ingredients and ideas from his overseas travels into his dishes and continuing to grow his knowledge and love of cooking.

 

"I often think of food as being like technology, you have to keep up with it,” he says.

“I'm always looking for new inspiration from my incredible country and around the globe.”