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WHERE HAS YOUR COOKING CAREER TAKEN
YOU AND WHO HAVE YOU COOKED FOR?
At 18 I travelled to Europe where I worked in kitchens in Andorra,
France, and southern Spain. My last experience in Argentina
was working for Renault Cars. The President of Argentina and
important politicians from other countries used to visit every
two or three months. We always had a different menu that was
approved by the directors of the company.
The day before we opened at The Remarkables, I also prepared
a special menu for PM John Key who attended an afternoon tea
on the mountain with some members of the board.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COOKING STYLE
NOW AND HOW DO YOU MARRY THAT INTO THE
INFLUENCES OF NEW ZEALAND CUISINE?
My cooking style is the result of tradition, experimentation and
passion. Every place I’ve lived has influenced my way of cooking
and New Zealand is no exception. I always try to use regional
products and integrate them into my recipes. I’ve found great
products like kumara and paua. I’m very interested in Maori
history and the techniques they use to cook their products.
Many of these are now being incorporated into New Zealand’s
cooking style. The people here are really into the culinary world,
so you can find great producers. This is all great inspiration for
WHAT MAKES A GREAT CHEF?
Passion. Perfectionism. Giving 100 per cent every day. Being
in touch with colleagues and trying to learn from mistakes and
teaching as much as you can. Love what you do. Confidence is
also a key element to becoming a great chef.
IS THIS YOUR FIRST COOKING JOB IN NEW
ZEALAND AND HOW DID YOU END UP HERE?
My first job in New Zealand was as a cook at Mt Ruapehu -
Whakapapa Ski Field - where I did two seasons. As with every new
job, I had to show what I was able to do and it was an amazing
experience. I’ve worked as a chef on the Milford Track for the
last two summers and that’s how I found out about this job. It’s
my first head chef role and a huge challenge, especially with a
new brand building and on a skifield of such importance for the
WHAT’S IT LIKE COMMUTING INTO THE
MOUNTAINS TO A JOB LIKE THIS EACH DAY?
It is an awesome ride to the mountain every morning, with the sun
coming out, and the landscapes are majestic. For me, it’s a privilege
to work in one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand.
HOW IS THIS ENVIRONMENT REFLECTED IN YOUR MENU
AND WHAT SORT OF FOODS HAVE YOU OPTED FOR?
The alpine environment and changing weather conditions on the
mountain have an influence on our menu planning. In this new
building we have two different sections. Customers who don’t
want to spend much time off the slopes might go to the Grab and
Go section for pies, sausage rolls, empanadas, sushi, gourmet
sandwiches and the likes. Guests who prefer to enjoy some time
inside might go to the restaurant side where they find chimichurri
steak and lemon chicken sandwiches, soups and hot meals such
as green curry and pork stew.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT AND WHY?
My main passion is food. It’s the one thing I do most of the day,
every day of my life. I also love sports. I’m a big fan of football
and rugby, which I played when I was at high school. Travelling
has become a way to learn from other cultures and enrich my
knowledge of the world. I
Talented Argentinian chef Pablo Rive enjoys some of the most
outstanding alpine views on the planet from his kitchen window
1600m above sea level on the Remarkables Ski Area. He’s
head chef at the newly-opened Remarkables Restaurant and
Rastusburn Coffee Bar in the Queenstown ski area’s new $20
million base building development. Rive, who comes from a city
of 4 million, revels in his stunning alpine commute to work.
WHERE DO YOU HAIL FROM IN ARGENTINA AND HOW
DOES THAT INFLUENCE YOUR COOKING STYLE?
I was born in Cordoba, a city of 4 million people in the centre of
the country and home to a 400-year-old university. The migration
of Europeans and Latin Americans influenced the gastronomy of
the city so every family has inherited different dishes. I grew up
in that environment where my mum and grandma cooked all the
time. My grandpa was Peruvian so all that influence has shaped
my way of cooking. I have learned traditional recipes from them
and tried to give them a twist with new products or food from the
region where I’m cooking.
LAW TO COOKING IS QUITE A TURNAROUND. WHAT
CAUSED YOU TO DROP OUT OF LAW SCHOOL AND
TURN YOUR TALENTS TO THE KITCHEN?
People in Cordoba are used to getting together for good meals
and drinks. Every weekend at home there were 25 relatives sitting
at a table, so as you can imagine we all know how to enjoy food.
I have always been passionate about sharing those moments.
When I was 18, I started working in a kitchen, but as I was also
interested in law, I decided to study that. Fortunately, I couldn’t
find the pleasure that I had when cooking and I decided to drop
out of Law School. Best decision ever!
– The Remarkables
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