Home' Hospitality Business : HB AUG 2016 Contents KELLY WATT: CO-OWNER,
TRUE FOOD & YOGA
A qualified chef, Kelly has worked in hospitality in London and
New Zealand since the age of 14.
Born in the UK, she qualified in advanced hospitality and
catering following three years at South Cheshire College.
In 1999, Kelly changed tack, moving on to Harley Street’s
British School of Complementary Therapy. She soon earned
her practitioner’s certificate in reflexology while working at
London’s Metropolitan Hotel.
She has held a number of positions in notable London
establishments, including Nobu and the The Metropolitan Hotel.
On arrival in New Zealand in 2001, Kelly joined White
Restaurant at the Auckland Hilton as Maitre D’ before moving
with Nic to Taupo, where she held hospitality roles at Huka
Lodge, Copthorne Manuels Resort, Acacia Point Boutique
Lodge and Huka Village.
Back in London with Nic in 2004, Kelly took a position as a Personal
Assistant at Zuma Restaurant, working across admin, HR and
events, before returning to New Zealand with her family in 2013.
Following a stint at St Heliers Bistro, Kelly was instrumental in
establishing the award-winning restaurant MASU by Nic Watt.
Here, she was responsible for customer service and front of
house training, including the creation of operating manuals
and contributions to uniform design.
In late 2014, Kelly paused her role at MASU to focus on yoga. In
the prelude to founding TRUE, Kelly managed and taught yoga
at Abundance Studio in Queen Street, Auckland.
and teach in. It’s more about using a beautiful space and attracting as
many amazing talents as I can under one roof.”
When it comes to the bistro, TRUE Kitchen, the approach from
Nic and Kelly has been equally as meticulous and carefully considered.
As exper ienced – and highly successful - restaurateurs, they spent
considerable time nailing ever y detail of the bistro, from the wooden
Scrabble-piece signage, the ‘kale green’ t-shirts and denim aprons of the
servers to the denim naper y.Tableware is hand-made hessian-printed
pottery by Peter Baigent of Factory Ceramics, Waiheke with spun suar
wood platters from Bali and Reidel stemless glassware.
The bistro is managed by well-loved hospitality veteran Brett Grey,
with head chef Trevor Hubbard at the helm in the kitchen. Well-known
nutr itionist Ben War ren of Be Pure fame has endorsed a number of
items on the nutr ient dense menu, whilst Nic and Kelly, who keep bees
and chickens and make their own kombucha and kvass at home, are
bringing the same real food philosophy to the TRUE bistro and the
grab-and-go shop. “We want people to come by and grab a jar of salad
and some kombucha for lunch and then retur n for dinner,” says Nic,
“it’s all about serving healthy food options when people need them.”
The lunch and dinner menu is the same, with slightly different
options for breakfast. Bistro lunches and dinners include the likes of
Chatham Island blue cod, sashimi salad, matcha gnocchi and soft-shell
crab, as well as bone broths, activated buckwheat risotto, roast chicken
and Nic’s clever, conscious takes on comfort foods such as mince on
toast.Weekend brunch offer ings include a smoked kahawai nicoise,
peanut butter and poached chicken toasties and smoked roe on toast.
“The whole menu is geared around nutrient density,” says the chef
proudly, “and is organic where possible and line caught where possible
and sustainable. It will also be as local as possible, including our own
beehives and herb garden out the back of the kitchen.” He adds the
menu has “elements of paleo, elements of sugar free and elements of
raw, but it’s not about restr iction or deprivation. It’s all about good,
honest food and a reflection of what we love to enjoy at home”.
On the beverage front, alongside Allpress organic coffee and Stor m
and India teas, there will be raw, cold pressed juice, matcha and
tur mer ic golden lattes and chai.Wines, all available by the glass, are
organic and biodynamic. A Coravin system means even the luxur ious
and rare can be enjoyed without having to invest in a bottle, which Nic
says made curating the eclectic list that much easier. On tap are craft
beers and Organic Mechanic kombucha, a var iety of fer mented, lightly
effervescent sweetened black or green tea.
From the generous car park to the ramp providing wheelchair access
and the water fountain and hooks for bikes and dog leads, it is clear that
Nic and Kelly are passionate about supporting their community and
will most definitely get the love in retur n. “TRUE is based on our true
story,” says Nic. “It represents what we love and what we do at home -
our love of good, natural and nutrition-dense food, our own yoga and
healthy practices. Coming to TRUE will be like being welcomed into
our lounge, and we hope ever yone that comes here feels that way.” I
Matcha buckwheat pancakes, maple,
fresh blueberries, passionfruit
24 | August 2016 | Hospitality BUSINESS
A CELEBRATION OF FOOD AND WELLBEING
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