An Evening With Giovanni And Alessandro In Wakatipu Grill

Two Of Australia’s Leading Chefs And Restaurateurs Are Presenting A Special Dining Experience In Queenstown’s Wakatipu Grill.

This information originated in U.K. English.

January 12, 2012

QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand - Hilton Queenstown's signature restaurant Wakatipu Grill is proud to welcome Sydney based celebrity chefs Giovanni Pilu of Pilu at Freshwater and Alessandro Pavoni of Ormeggio at the Spit and Spiedo as they work alongside Wakatipu Grill's own Peter Thornley to create an exquisite menu for one very special evening. The trio of world-renowned chefs will lead their respective teams in creating a truly memorable culinary experience for Queenstown diners.

Guests will enjoy five exceptional courses, plus pre-dinner canapés and Mt. Difficulty wines. The menu will draw together the very best seasonally available ingredients, and will also feature premium New Zealand King Salmon from Regal Salmon.

Hilton Queenstown General Manager Marlene Poynder says: "We are thrilled to welcome some of Australia's leading chefs into the kitchen of the Wakatipu Grill. It is a wonderful opportunity for local food lovers to enjoy a culinary experience of an outstanding international calibre."

What: An Evening with Giovanni and Alessandro in Wakatipu Grill


When: Wednesday 8 February, 2012, from 7.00pm

Where: Wakatipu Grill, Kawarau Village, Peninsula Road, Queenstown

Cost: NZ$135 per person, including wine

Info/Book: +64 (0)3 450 9400 or

Giovanni and Alessandro's trip across the Tasman came from their desire to see for themselves the source of the ingredients that they use in their Sydney restaurants, particularly the popular Regal King Salmon. Before descending into Queenstown the chefs will visit the Marlborough region where they will learn about Regal King Salmon's world-class farming practices at its sea farms in the stunning Marlborough Sounds as well as the company's hatchery in Golden Bay and processing facilities in Nelson.

The Chefs:

Giovanni Pilu
Sardinian-born chef Giovanni Pilu is the Executive Chef and owner of Pilu at Freshwater, which was recognised in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide as ‘Best New Restaurant' in its first year of opening and has received two chef's hats every year since then.

Pilu arrived in Australia in 1992 full of enthusiasm and passion for the unique flavours of his homeland. He believes Sardinian cooking should involve simple ingredients, prepared with minimum fuss, allowing the full flavour of the ingredients to speak for themselves.

Giovanni is frequently sought out to present his passion and expertise in Italian culture and cooking both in corporate settings and across many media platforms.

Alessandro Pavoni
Brescian-born chef Alessandro Pavoni blasted into Sydney's dining scene in 2009 with his first restaurant venture, northern Italian gem Ormeggio at the Spit.

Alessandro began his career in Brescia, in Italy's north, working at Carlo Magno with the famous Iginio Massari and Giuseppe Maffioli and later working in various Michelin starred venues such as La Rotonde in France and the two Michelin-starred Villa Fiordaliso on Lake Garda.

Ormeggio at the Spit was quickly recognised as one of Sydney's premier waterside dining destinations. It was awarded a coveted Chef Hat in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide after only nine months, had two Glasses awarded by Gourmet Traveller to its unique wine list, and is also listed in Gourmet Traveller's Top 100 and The Australian's Top 50 Australian restaurants.

Alessandro's second restaurant Spiedo was opened in August 2011 in Sydney city, with a tagline of "Living Lombardy" he is going all out to show what his region in Italy is capable of.

Peter Thornley
One of New Zealand's most acclaimed chefs, Peter Thornley heads up Hilton Queenstown's signature restaurant Wakatipu Grill. He has led landmark restaurants across New Zealand and the world showing that his style and flair for New Zealand cuisine is innovative and finely styled. The recipient of many national and international awards, Thornley is a familiar magazine, TV and radio personality in New Zealand.

His CV includes the beloved Icon Restaurant at Te Papa Museum in Wellington, Bracu outside Auckland, Thornley's in Christchurch, The French Farm near Akaroa and, since 2008, Kermadec in Auckland.

Federico Zanellato
Head Chef and co-owner of Ormeggio at the Spit, Federico Zanellato brings with him not only a great cooking talent, but a hunger for knowledge, detail and constant improvement that has been developed through his experiences at such restaurants as three Michelin star La Pergola with celebrated chef Heinzbeck, one Michelin star Imago with Francesco Apreda, and two Michelin star Ryugin Restaurant in Tokyo.

Fulvio Lancione
Head Chef and co-owner of Spiedo, Fulvio Lancione has over 20 years of experience chefing in major five star hotels and leading Michelin star restaurants in Italy, Spain, England, Bermuda and Australia. Lancione first worked under Pavoni at Luna Blu in Leichhardt and later worked as Head Chef at Campari Restaurant and Executive Chef at Bacco Wine Bar & Pasticceria before joining Pavoni at Spiedo.

Susan Perry
Hilton Queenstown

About Hilton Queenstown
Hilton Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, showcases panoramic views over a world-famous landscape. This is an exhilarating setting, and one without compromise - just 8 minutes by water taxi and 15 minutes by car from Queenstown. Spacious, air-conditioned bedrooms feature schist fireplaces, soulful interiors and separate lounges. At the Wakatipu Grill, enjoy Chef Peter Thornley's sublime cuisine and extraordinary views over the lake - an open kitchen and two vast circular fireplaces add even more drama. Indulge in a luxe après-ski experience at Cru Wine Bar & Lounge, or sensory bliss at eforea: spa by Hilton, Queenstown's largest with 10 treatment rooms and a 25m heated indoor pool. Beyond the hotel, Kawarau Village's restaurants, cafes, bars and specialty stores await.

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