TL&CC Q&A – Liz Buttimore, owner/operator, and Bradley Hornby, chef owner/operator of Arbour, Blenheim, New Zealand

17 January 2019
Liz Buttimore, Arbour. Image credit: Richard Briggs Photography

We have spent years in five-star hotels, resorts and award-winning restaurants, but Marlborough has always been a place we would like to settle down in. Here are some of our past adventures:

Recent accolades

  • One Hat, Cuisine Good Food Awards 2017, 2018
  • Kiwibank Local Hero 2017
  • NZ Restaurant Personality of the Year, Cuisine Good Food Awards 2017
  • Best Restaurant 'Top of the South', Aronui DineOut Awards 2017
  • Westpac Supreme Business Award 2016
  • Trustpower Customer Service Award 2016, 2017
  • Annandale, Banks Peninsula (set up team)
  • World's Best Experiential Luxury Property
  • Best Experiential Luxury Property Australasia
  • Best Luxury Property New Zealand
  • Wills Domain, Margaret River
  • Best Regional Restaurant, Two Hats, Gourmet Traveller Stars
  • Knee Deep, Margaret River
  • Best Regional Restaurant, Two Hats, Gourmet Traveller Stars

What is your idea of perfect happiness? LIZ - A busy restaurant service filled with the sound of happy locals, friends and visitors, then going home to enjoy a glass of Marlborough Pinot Noir outside in the garden.

What is the purest thing you have ever tasted? LIZ - Bradley has several spice blends he makes from foraged herbs and berries. He has one he uses with raw seafood and it gives the seafood the most beautiful, clean flavour. Beyond taste, it becomes light, bright and pretty. BRADLEY – A freshly shucked scallop whilst out on a boat with friends.

What was your first experience with sustainable eating? BRADLEY – Growing up in small towns in the South Island hunting and fishing was a big part of our life, and we ate a lot of wild-caught produce. Mum also has a beautiful vegetable garden, so as a family we were eating fresh, seasonal and local just because of where we lived.

What do you love most about what you do? BRADLEY – Paying attention to the small things around us that come in and out of season. As wild ingredients go out of season, you spend the next part of the year reimagining dishes you can form around them the next year. We are lucky to have the opportunity to be creative every day and to use that creativity to make others happy.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever been taught? LIZ – To never do anything I can’t call my dad and tell him about. I use the idea of ‘what would Ross Buttimore do?’ in all aspects of my work, including monetary decisions and negotiations. I feel that people trust us and like dealing with us because they know that with each business decision we are also thinking about what the other party needs and how we can get there.

Are there any mentors or food heroes you would like to thank? BRADLEY – I was lucky to be trained by two very strong South Island chefs who pushed me hard every single day. I worked on and off for both of them straight out of polytech until my mid 20s. I still talk to both of them every week. Another chef I take inspiration from is Ben Shewry. I love his food of course, but his approach to his team, community and the other people around him is something I look up to. We have the pleasure of seeing him now and then, and he always has time for us and shows genuine interest in what we are doing.

What are your favourite books or cookbooks? BRADLEY – My favourite book of all time is The Lore and Science of Cooking by Harold McGee. The book that I have paid excess luggage for time and time again over the years would be Quay by Peter Gilmore.

What do you make from scratch? BRADLEY - We pretty much only buy in raw ingredients and make almost everything from scratch; spice blends, bread, pasta, all our stocks and sauces, sorbets/ice creams, all our desserts, bar syrups etc.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you are doing? LIZ - We incorporate a huge amount of charity work into our business, so if I wasn’t running a restaurant I would likely be working in some sort of not-for-profit work. Arbour’s events incorporate the whole community and it is a vehicle that, with the help of its peers, has raised over $450,000 for local groups in the last three-and-a-half years. We put up the event management, Arbour and our fabulous local hospitality friends, staff the kitchen and front of house, our wine and food suppliers donate to the menu, local businesses donate auction items and our guests purchase the tickets and make sure the auction items are bought. There is a clear respect for each person in the chain and when a result is announced the guests at the table are just as likely to be hugging the nearest waiter as each other.

How do you like to spend your day off? BRADLEY – We tend to work typical owner/operator hours, so when we have a day off we bring home our favourite food and wine, lock the front door and hide in our garden (with our dog and cat) where the world can’t find us.

Bradley Hornby, Arbour. Image credit: Richard Briggs PhotographyBradley Hornby, Arbour. Image credit: Richard Briggs Photography

What does success mean to you? LIZ - That I am happy, my team can afford to have a nice life, that our guests keep returning and that Arbour is considered an integral and valuable part of such a beautiful region.

What are the qualities you most admire in others? LIZ - Kindness. We are all in this busy, crazy, confusing life together and we should all be trying to make sure each other’s pathway is as smooth as possible.

Can you tell us something we don’t know about you? LIZ - People think I am lucky to be so extroverted because I host big events, speak often to groups and always have a bright, contagious grin on my face. But I was, and to a certain extent still am, incredibly shy – to the point of it being crippling. I trained myself in public speaking by applying to be head girl. I was just awful for the first half of the year and then barely bearable for the second. I repeated this torture at university and over time the fear disappeared. There is still that girl in there who may at times cancel going to non-work related events, but I no longer dive into supermarket displays to hide from someone I know.

Which three words best describe your cooking style? BRADLEY - Regional, seasonal, always evolving,

If you could eat only one thing today, what would it be? BRADLEY – I am fascinated by the subtle and beautiful style of Japanese cooking. Whilst I can’t choose which I would eat as a last meal, it is most likely going to be either a bowl of ramen, nigiri sushi, chawanmushi, gyoza or tempura.
LIZ – Kumara, in particular kumara that has been cooked in a hangi, preferably soaking in the meat juices!

What do you see when you think of the cuisine of your own country? BRADLEY - Arbour is known for championing local producers, but it really is so easy for us here in Marlborough. We forage in the mornings at the beach or in the organic vineyards. Our menu uses almost all local suppliers, not just because they are local, but because they are outstanding in their field as well. Our food tastes of the region; it is fresh, local, has a beautiful lightness to it, is generous and most of all, delicious.

Which producer or supplier really brightens your day? LIZ - No one would be jealous reading this, in fact most Marlburian’s in wine and food would nod their head and agree! Takaki Okada from Folium Wines. He is so hard-working, humble and incredibly polite. He is often found in a kitchen when we have a charity event on, and when he delivers his wine he goes to the effort of restocking his own shelf! He also hosts post-vintage hangi for sometimes 70 guests, and if he has invited you and four others for a private dinner you might turn up to 300 hand-folded dumplings or a tempura station. His mum sends care packages from Japan and always includes gifts of expensive soy and vinegars for our restaurant (or a handbag for the restaurant owner!).

Do you have a motto or mantra? BRADLEY – Our previous boss instilled the mantra ‘Listen, Filter, Absorb’ into us. We are all constantly being critiqued and sometimes that can fill your mind, become an obsession and keep you awake at night. He helped us to learn to ‘Listen’ to what each person was saying without interrupting or correcting, go away and ‘Filter’ out what was simply personal taste or unnecessary, and ‘Absorb’ any nuggets of wisdom that could improve the dish, business or service.

Visit Arbour’s Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Our seven featured restaurants this week

17 January 2019
Vicia, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Members of the Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery Collective share their inspiring initiatives and beliefs.

Vicia give food scraps a second life

  • WHO: Michael & Tara Gallina, partners
  • WHAT: Vegetable-forward, farmer-driven restaurant celebrating the daily bounty of the midwest
  • WHERE: 4260 Forest Park Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63108, USA

“Reducing food waste is an important principle to us at Vicia, from the basic principles of not throwing anything away, to finding ways to serve guests produce that is often discarded or underutilized. We create falafel out of juice pulp scraps, make vinegars and powders from peels, pickle anything we can't use, make pesto from yellowing or pock-marked vegetable tops, and even use old wine to create syrups for our cocktail program. In addition, we compost any food waste that comes from our guests, offer metal reusable straws at the bar, and put forth a menu that puts vegetables first and meat as a supporting player.”

To read more about Vicia visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Young George celebrate ‘ugly’ produce

  • WHO: Melissa Palinkas & Suse Whelan, owners
  • WHAT: A suburban neighbourhood Freo bar that says no to waste
  • WHERE: 48 George Street, East Fremantle, Western Australia 6158, Australia

“We are advocates of using seconds! It’s so shameful that large supermarkets only take unblemished fruit and vegetables, which leaves the farmers with millions of dollars in combined waste each year. A bunch of restaurants with like-minded chefs buy the wonky veg and use it, as there is actually nothing wrong with it. We buy oversized limes for our bar – they are too big and not completely green all the way around for supermarket shelves, but are full of juice. We buy bananas with small, slightly black lines – they are actually at their best flavour-wise when slightly changing colour, as the starches convert to sugars.”

To read more about Young George visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Young George, East Fremantle, Western AustraliaYoung George, East Fremantle, Western Australia

Burro e Salvia on the benefits of cooking from scratch

  • WHO: Gaia Enria, founder & head pasta maker
  • WHAT: A traditional artisan pastificio and trattoria with a focus on fresh pasta, handmade daily
  • WHERE: 52 Redchurch street, London E2 7DP, UK

“For the past four years we have organised pasta-making workshops at our premises (or outside) as an educational programme, with one or two workshops every week. We do indeed teach the tricks of the trade, but somehow also deliver a wider message, about taking the time to learn new skills and what it means to make your own food rather than buying pre-made things at the supermarket. It turned out to be so successful that we now have waiting lists for our dates to come.”

To read more about Burro e Salvia visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Burro e Salvia, London, UKBurro e Salvia, London, UK

Tzuk Farm Deli & Restaurant on their farm-to-table approach

  • WHO: Tomer Tzuk, chef/owner & Asaf Shinar, chef/owner
  • WHAT: A farm-to-table restaurant & deli serving local grass-fed lamb & beef
  • WHERE: Moshe Perlok 5 Tel Aviv 6936705, Israel

“Although we serve mostly meat, we focus our attention first on the vegetables. In a way, our cooks first look at the vegetables as the focal point on the plate and only then pair them with the protein. We offer dishes with smaller portions of red meat and we work with the only organic, free-range chicken in Israel. At times we are able to work with grass-fed local Wagu beef grown by Seven Spring Farm in the north. Our menu is made up of what arrives from the farm – our specials changes twice-daily according to this. Recent dishes include a special pumpkin gratin with a slow-roasted leg of lamb, and a fakus salad (local cucumber) made with yellow zucchini, purple radish, our Circassian goat cheese, olive oil and lemon juice.”

To read more about Tzuk Farm Deli & Restaurant visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Tzuk Farm & Deli, Tel Aviv, IsraelTzuk Farm & Deli, Tel Aviv, Israel

Arbour discuss a special ingredient

  • WHO: Liz Buttimore & Chef Bradley Hornby, co-owners
  • WHAT: A relaxed dining experience with daily changing menus & warm, friendly service
  • WHERE: 36 Godfrey Road, RD2 Blenheim 7272, New Zealand

“We are championing the blue mussel. It is a self-seeding mussel that causes mussel farmers a lot of grief. They either invest in knocking them off the lines, causing food waste on a massive scale, or they invest in finding a market and working out how to harvest (as they can't be harvested at the same time as the green shell). We are hoping over time to nurture the latter option by using these in high profile events and competitions. We hope other chefs will catch on and the many tons of food waste will be solved. These mussels are of course used in other areas such as fertiliser, health products and pet food. They are tiny, sweet and delicious!”

To read more about Arbour visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Arbour, Blenheim, New ZealandArbour, Blenheim, New Zealand

Three Fold Noodles + Dumpling Co. on traditional Chinese cuisine

  • WHO: Lisa Zhang, chef/owner
  • WHAT: Making simple, healthy food using cooking methods rooted in Chinese tradition
  • WHERE: 611 South Main Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201, USA

“We only have three main dishes at Three Fold: noodles, dumplings and steamed buns. These are each considered major food types in Chinese cuisine and could stand alone in a restaurant in China. For example, if you want noodles, you'd go to a noodle shop and if you want dumplings, you'd go to a dumpling shop where only dumplings are served, but in a variety of flavours and variations. At Three Fold within each main dish category, we also have three variations. For example, for dumplings, you can choose between pork, chicken or vegetarian fillings. Pork is the most traditional filling eaten in China, the chicken filling was designed for our Arkansas customers, and the vegetarian filling was inspired by the dumplings of my hometown in north-eastern China – you can find countless variations of vegetarian dumplings there, and no two are the same. Our vegetarian dumplings are made with shiitake mushrooms, squash and tofu. Shiitake offer valuable nutrition, squash is a local produce, and tofu is a soy-based protein that's commonly used in Chinese vegetarian cooking.”

To read more about Three Fold Noodles + Dumpling Co. visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co., Little Rock, Arkansas, USAThree Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co., Little Rock, Arkansas, USA

Doot Doot Doot share their relationship with produce

  • WHO: Guy Stanaway, exec chef & Elliot Pinn, head chef
  • WHAT: An artful package of peninsula food & wine
  • WHERE: 166 Balnarring Road, Merricks North, Victoria 3926, Australia

“Seafood sustainability is really important to us; we always love working with suppliers whose ethics and product closely aligns with our own. Produce-wise, having a personal relationship with growers can mean getting a phone call and heading out to collect fallen fruit for preserves after bad weather, or pre-purchasing a large amount of heirloom tomatoes from an amazing grower like Daniel's Run well before harvest has begun.”

To read more about Doot Doot Doot visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Doot Doot Doot, Merricks North, Victoria, AustraliaDoot Doot Doot, Merricks North, Victoria, Australia

News: Dubai Dining Experience Celebrates TL&CC

17 January 2019
BOCA, Dubai

Three members of the TL&CC Collective will be showcasing their culinary skills at a special dinner next month. BB Social Dining, BOCA and Folly are joining together to celebrate exceptional food and drink, local ingredients and recipes, and sustainability.

Hosted at BB Social Dining in the Dubai International Financial Centre, the evening will kick off with a Champagne aperitif and canapés, then a selection of starters from Chef Alex Stumpf. This is followed with a series of main courses created by BOCA’s Chef Matthijs Stinnisen, and dessert crafted by Folly’s chef patrons Nick Alvis and Scott Price.

Each course is presented by its respective chef, and paired with wines described by sommelier Lindsay Trivers from The Tasting Class. Guests will also receive a gift bag which includes a copy of Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery and goodies from gift partner and TL&CC restaurant Baker & Spice.

Samantha Wood, of prominent restaurant review website FooDiva – and one of TL&CC’s World guidebook editors – is organising the event. #ThreeChefsDinner takes place on Tuesday 12th February at 6.30pm, with tickets priced at AED650 per person. To book a spot or find out more, visit

News: other things you need to know

  • TL&CC co-founder Ruth Hobday chatted to The Washington Post for a new story celebrating the guidebooks. With a specific focus on the USA edition, five TL&CC restaurants are mentioned in the article. “Sustainable restaurant stalwarts — think Alice Waters’s Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., and Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York state — are in the mix, along with less-well-known restaurants outside major markets. We see you, Little Star Diner in Montana, with your closed-loop system of restaurant compost going back to your farm. We see you, Pirogue Grille in Bismarck, N.D., with your housemade venison sausage and homegrown chokecherries. And we see you, Garage Bar in Louisville, highlighting local nonprofit groups on the menu to spread awareness and raise money while diners chow down on blistered wood-fired pizzas.” Read the full story here.
  • Celebrated food writer Mary Berry’s new cookbook is set to hit bookstores in February. Titled Quick Cooking, the book features 120 new recipes that can be ready in 30 minutes. The much-anticipated book accompanies a new BBC TV series of the same name.
  • Union, Kentucky restaurant The Farmstand Market & Café is opening its second store, at Wooden Cask Brewing Co. in Newport. The new location will serve flatbread pizza, salads, appetizers, sandwiches and desserts. “We really try to focus on the local – anything in the Tri-State within a 250mile radius,” says Farmstand chef/owner Tricia Houston in a WCPO Cincinnati article. Read the full piece here.

Ending the year on a high with seven inspiring feature restaurants

20 December 2018
Fork, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Members of the Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery Collective tell us about their special initiatives and ideas.

Fork shares their waste-reduction strategies

  • WHO: Ellen Yin & Eli Kulp, owners; John Patterson, chef
  • WHAT: A contemporary American restaurant in Old City, Philadelphia
  • WHERE: 306 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106, USA

“One of our purchasing guidelines is to avoid products that come with unnecessary packaging. For example, our effort purchasing almost entirely local mushrooms from Kennett Square is not only about locality and flavour, but also a conscious effort to avoid wasteful packaging that comes with imported mushrooms. Additionally, we try to focus not only on specialty purchases but bulk purchases – we buy exclusively organic bulk sugar and use sunflower/non-GMO frying oil in our fryers.”

To read more about Fork visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel on growing their own produce

  • WHO: Robin Wickens, executive chef
  • WHAT: Destination regional fine dining with sweeping Grampians views
  • WHERE: 98 Parker Street, Dunkeld, Victoria 3294, Australia

“Our chefs are in the garden every day picking the produce they need and watching the life cycle of the garden. The produce is grown organically without the use of fertilizers or chemicals. This method of farming means our produce is flavourful and just how nature intended it to be. It does, however, leave us open to the elements, meaning uniform shapes and sizes cannot always be achieved – an aspect of our story we are very proud of.”

To read more about Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Wickens at the Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, AustraliaWickens at the Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, Australia

Sherwood on sustainable hospitality

  • WHO: Sam Chapman, owner & Kane Bambery, chef
  • WHAT: A community hotel, restaurant, bar, wellbeing, co-working, film production, garden & event space
  • WHERE: 554 Frankton Rd, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand

“Sustainability underpins everything we do at Sherwood. We are one of the only hotels in the Southern Hemisphere powered by the sun (our solar array was the largest private installation in New Zealand at the time). The entire complex is an 1980's up-cycled motor inn, and both the rooms and the restaurant were refurbished using recycled, up-cycled and sustainable materials including cork wall linings, metal furnishings, carpets made from recycled fishing nets, lino from car tyres, and curtains from army blankets. We have set ourselves the goal of being zero-waste, with our 160-seat restaurant and bar now down to only half a wheelie bin of general waste per week.”

To read more about Sherwood visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Sherwood, Queenstown, New ZealandSherwood, Queenstown, New Zealand

Field & Main on community spirit

  • WHO: Neal & Star Wavra, owners
  • WHAT: Farm-to-table dining over an open flame
  • WHERE: 8369 W. Main Street, Marshall, Virginia 20115, USA

“Community is central to our mission, from building and supporting a community of team members that create the culture of our restaurant, to a network of farmers and artisans that not only supply our restaurant, but also eat in it. We also seek to enrich our dining community through our club, Hestia Guild. This club offers patrons an opportunity to learn more about our food and drink through educational experiences and meeting other like-minded diners, helping to support our local food bank in the process. We donate $1 to the food bank for every order of the evening’s designated dish.”

To read more about Field & Main visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Field & Main, Marshall, Virgina, USAField & Main, Marshall, Virgina, USA

Sardine Eatery & Bar on choosing local

  • WHO: Mark Briggs, chef/co-owner
  • WHAT: A local seafood restaurant with East Gippsland at its heart
  • WHERE: 3/69 Esplanade, Paynesville, Victoria 3880, Australia

“Fresh produce is the essence of our menu. We work closely with local producers to celebrate their produce. We are lucky to have some of the finest vegetables in Lindenow and the happiest chickens we have ever met, just down the road at Forge Creek Free Range. Telling the story of where our produce comes from is an important factor in the dining experience of our restaurant.”

To read more about Sardine Eatery & Bar visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Sardine Eatery & Bar, Paynesville, AustraliaSardine Eatery & Bar, Paynesville, Australia

O Navegador shares a special story

  • WHO: Teresa Corção, chef/owner
  • WHAT: Brazilian regional sustainable cuisine restaurant located at a 1908 building in downtown Rio
  • WHERE: Av Rio Branco 180, 6th floor, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

“One night I was feeling exhausted about the crisis Rio is passing through. I was checking the numbers with my manager when I saw that there was a couple still sitting at one of the tables, the last guests. The woman, an elderly woman, stood up and came towards me. I was worried she was going to complain about something, but instead she looked at me deeply, excused the interruption and said: ‘I came to thank you! I don't know what you have in this restaurant, in this food. I just came out of a long stay at the hospital and my son decided to take me here. I can only say there is a lot of love in this place.’ We both hugged and cried – it was an unbelievable scene!”

To read more about O Navegador visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

O Navegador, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilO Navegador, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dalleth on seasonal dining

  • WHO: Jonathan Dowling, owner
  • WHAT: A ticketed event business offering intimate tasting experiences that utilize wild British produce
  • WHERE: 115 Glencoe Road, Kent ME4 5QF, UK

“Dalleth menus are strictly seasonal, which can be quite a challenge, especially at the end of winter and beginning of spring. We are particularly strict on where we source our ingredients, with very few coming from outside of the UK and Ireland. The idea of buying ingredients from overseas when we have an abundance on home soil contradicts our philosophy – we actively encourage and promote British produce in all of our dishes. Our menus encompass a large amount of foraged vegetation, wild meats and fish, just like our ancestor hunter-gatherers would have.”

To read more about Dalleth visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Dalleth, Kent, UKDalleth, Kent, UK

20 December 2018

Sharing truth and love each week with the amazing, inspiring initiatives of our restaurants.

20 December 2018

It’s been a big year for Australian TL&CC Collective member, Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel, read more about their successes in 2018.

20 December 2018

We asked Alchemilla's Alex Bond, to answer the Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery Questionnaire. There are only two rules – you have to tell the Truth, and do it with Love.

13 December 2018

TL&CC Q&A – Chef Gilberto Cetina, Holbox, Los Angeles, California, USA