It’s in an old car mechanics premises. It involves big name chefs such as Martin Bosley and Morgan McGlone. And you may not know quite what you’re getting. Sounds perfect.
The Sea Breeze Inn is a three-day pop-up set up for the opening the weekend of Visa Wellington on a Plate, July 29-31, and is a celebration of New Zealand’s fresh, seasonal, and sustainable kai moana.
The Inn is the idea of Sydney-based, Māori chef Morgy McGlone. “I spent a lot of time in the South of America. The Inn is almost like a seafood shack that you find over there – doing one or two dishes that are just really banging and getting the most out of the ingredients as possible,” he says.
McGlone has called on mates like Martin Bosley of Yellow Brick Road, and Kasey and Karena Bird, who won Master Chef, to come up with additional dishes.
“We want people to come in groups and sit down and grab a bunch of stuff and share it. We’ve got ice cream, Martin’s doing a really cool raw bar, Kasey and Karena are doing something with Cloudy Bay Clams – I’m doing a chowder. And we’re gonna have some drinks on offer. I think it’s just going to be kind of real casual, your quintessential Kiwi fish and chip shop – but a bit more refined.”
This is Martin Bosley’s fourteenth year in WOAP.
“I think my busiest year was a couple of years ago. I rang the organiser from the plane and said, how many events have I got involved in? He said 14 events across 13 days. Oh, I said, not sure how I planned that one. So this year is a much more sedate affair”, he says.
So what lured him to the Sea Breeze Inn?
The ocean’s not a supermarket. We’re going to depend on what comes in.
“It’s long overdue, you know, for a fishing nation like New Zealand, not to have a seafood festival of any description. I can’t quite believe that it hasn’t been done before. So let’s put a stake in the ground and go, this is who we are and this is what we’re about. It’s quite exciting. It’s a great opportunity.”
A key philosophy of Yellow Brick Road is the commitment to line-caught fish only – which means McGlone won’t quite know what’s coming in until the morning.
“The beautiful thing about this is right now is that I can’t tell you what fish we’re going to have available because that’s not the way this works,” says Bosley. “The ocean’s not a supermarket. We’re going to depend on what comes in. We might have kingfish. We might have travelli. We might have butterfish, which is an amazing Wellington fish that no anybody eats, right? It’s time to try something more than snapper.”
Visit the programme to see more about Visa Wellington on a Plate