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Manu Feildel

Recipe for success: Q&A with Manu Feildel

Manu Feildel has won hearts as the resident Frenchman on My Kitchen Rules for the past eight years. It was a recipe for success; the two beloved chefs, many years of experience under their culinary belts and the competitive streak that has given us an insatiable appetite for cooking shows. Then of course, there’s that suave French accent.


Manu Feildel


In the city as part of his involvement in creating the gourmet menu for the new Hoyts Lux, part of the EntX development, Manu sat down with our very own Nicholas Henare for an exclusive one on one meeting with the suave star himself dishing the dirt on everything from his start in France at the ripe age of 15, to dealing with celebrity-dom and his love for the woman by his side.


What motivated you to become a chef?

I was crap at school, I was the class clown. My mother said, ‘I don’t know what to do with you, your dad owns a restaurant, I think you should go and work with your dad’.
I just loved the restaurant, I could eat and cook and hang out with girls. I fell in love straight away with the restaurant.

How did you get to be where you are now?

I moved to London when I was 18 with £300 in my pocket and no English and stayed in London for eight years, hated the weather and moved to Australia when I was 26 and got recognised in the industry.

How do you deal with being a celebrity?

I said hello to about 28 people coming in here! It’s part of the job, most of the time it’s ok but sometimes you just want to be left alone, when I’m with my family.

What’s your go to food when you’re not cooking?

My wife is an amazing cook, Chinese, Malaysian, Sri Lankan. Yesterday I was in Melbourne and she called me and said, ‘please don’t eat anything on the plane, I’m cooking for you’.
I love her and love her cooking.

When you cook for your family, is there anything you cook that they they don’t like?

My young daughter is a little fussy but my older son was very picky between 10 and 12, in fact he was a little s**t and wouldn’t eat anything but now he eats EVERYTHING because he’s a rugby player.

Do you ever eat McDonalds or KFC?

3am in the morning and I’ve been out for a big night, I put a hat on and use a German accent… no, no, no, very rarely do I eat that type of food.
Hoyts Lux is amazing, how did that come about?Hoyts wanted to ring something different on the food aspect. The original menu was the same as everywhere else, so I thought I’d just jazz it up a bit. It’s been great to work with the team at Hoyts.

What’s your pick on the Hoyts Lux menu?

Try the duck bao, pulled pork pizza, the chicken burger is also very good. Duck is a luxury product, something very special and that’s what Hoyts Lux is, something special.

What’s your advice to someone who wants to start in the restaurant business?

Don’t do it! (insert loud French laugh here). No, but really, it’s a small percentage of people who are successful and it’s very, very hard work. Long hours and commitment is what’s needed to make it.

How much control did you have over the Lux menu?

About 70 percent – they pretty much gave me free reign to do what I wanted so you really do get what my ideas are when eating at Lux.

MKR? What’s happening?

Season 10 is being filmed at the moment. It’s going to be a cracking season with some great guests. There’s a bit of bitchiness, but here in New Zealand we’re a bit more tame. I play the good cop and don’t try to offend anyone’s cooking too much and try to explain how they can improve and what they could do to make it better, so they don’t cook any… ‘merde’.

How do you keep motivated?

I’ve got a great job that’s different every day. I never get bored. I got to jump on a plane and come and meet you and all the people in New Zealand.

Do you still cook in restaurants anymore?

No, I miss that immensely, but my life has changed.

Do you have favourite restaurant in New Zealand?

You would love it Nick, a modern Indian restaurant in Auckland called Cassia, I love it!

Manu is everything you see on television; suave, sophisticated and a bloody great conversationalist. Now I could do the hard sell on the food at Hoyts Lux but I don’t need to, Manu created it and seriously, it’s fantastic. Would you expect anything else?



Savour Summer

Time to Savour Summer

A recent Christchurch celebrity concert started like this: ‘I’d heard from everyone who’s been here that New Zealanders were friendly, well-fed people’.


Savour Summer


You have to admit it: true on both counts. Aotearoa’s a hearty food-bowl; a generous wine-cellar; a well-stocked craft-beer fridge. With the season of frivolity and joyousness upon us, along with all the related foodie-drinkie occasions, a little fasting betwixt events won’t threaten life.  You read that right. FASTING. It sounds like deprivation 101. But really, those who do this say intermittent fasting is a form of freedom. There’s a lightness of being. There’s belt-easing. Also, there’s more time to plan some fabulous party fare over a peppermint tea.

Here’s a hypothesis: Could we be less inclined to over-consume when we’ve cut quantities, and when our morsels are packed to the gunnels with flavour and texture?  Maybe that’s what our chefs are trying to teach us. Why? Because the days of all-you-can-eat are (hopefully) falling well behind us in our cultural culinary journey.

The global trend seems to be ever more toward shared, flavoursome tasting plates. It’s easy, if you feel starved, to want your own meal. For dining out, tapas and the like are on the rise, making us experience and dare more, without having to fully commit. When you’ve been almost-fasting, even small, tad-portions with delectable, sensual flavour punches will satisfy. Bon appetit!



Japanz Bakery

A sweet favourite: Japanz Bakery

If you think the name Japanz Bakery sounds familiar, then you would be right. The quality baked eats with a Japanese flavour and friendly customer service you’ll find here have made it a firm favourite in Christchurch for years.


Japanz Bakery


Four years ago, Japanz Bakery moved from the original central CBD location to SouthCity Centre at 555 Colombo Street, where it continues to thrive thanks to a loyal customer base and the selection of delicious delectable delights. Always popular are the croissants, gingerbread men and cream donuts. There are four flavours of donut to choose from; Custard, ChocoCustard, Redbeans and CoffeeCream. Plus, $15.50 gets you a box of six donuts to share.


Japanz Bakery

Japanz also specialises in a range of beautifully prepared gift boxes and made to order cakes. With the festive season well and truly upon us, now is the perfect time to order one. There’s a choice of three flavours: green tea, fruit and of course, chocolate, each a mouth-watering offering and beautifully prepared. With a range of styles and sizes, Japanz’s cookie gift bags are a must, with gingerbread men and assorted flavoured cookies becoming the perfect stocking filler. So rest assured, your favourite bakery with a Japanese flavour is still alive and kicking, giving you lovingly baked delights made fresh each day.



Taichi Restaurant

Handcrafted dim sum arts: Taichi Restaurant

When it comes to the quintessential Cantonese dining experience, the most popular expression comes to mind is ‘yum cha’, the Cantonese words for ‘drinking tea’ that refers to Cantonese tea lunch.


Taichi Restaurant


Taichi Restaurant, in Shop 8, Spitfire Square by the airport, is the real deal when it comes to authentic yum cha. Taichi is a family affair, with generations of experience in hospitality and making great food. The soul of Cantonese yum cha is its dim sum arts, and Taichi Restaurant is committed to carrying on the tradition, offering the authentic Cantonese taste. The chef Wen is a dim sum master, determined to make dim sum with the most traditional handcrafted methods.

With a comprehensive background in dim sum creation, including experience as the Dim Sum Head Chef at InterContinental Hotel in Hainan, Wen has deep understanding of the dim sum tradition, as well as the expectations of the customers. He believes people come to yum cha not simply to satisfy their taste, but more importantly, to experience the Cantonese cuisine culture.

Dishes like Taichi’s famous Dim Sum are a big hit with regulars. The four kings of dim sum, prawn dumplings, sui mai, BBQ buns, egg tarts are exactly the classic examples of handcrafted dim sum dishes loved by its customers. With enough room to seat 150 people, Taichi can easily accommodate your nearest and dearest for your next private or corporate function. Open six days a week, it is well worth a look.



The Heart of the City

The Heart of the City

Home is and always will be so much more than where the heart is, particularly as it relates to the Garden City. It is this strong sense of patriotism that is propelling Christchurch clothing company DUAL into the sartorial spotlight.


The Heart of the City


Described by its owners as “the last man standing of New Zealand manufacturing”, Dual operates from a factory in Lichfield Street. Owners Stuart Montgomery and Phillip Sunderland are dedicated ambassadors for the quality denim brand and strong advocates for locally made products. A tagline, ‘Always Aotearoa’ perfectly captures the sentiment bestowed at the very heart of the business.
“We are in the unique position of being New Zealand’s only denim brand made right here in Christchurch,” Phillip says. “We don’t outsource to a third-world country. Everything is made here (has always been) and will continue to be made locally.”

The duo is supported by 90 staff, each with industry-related skills. “There are lots of designers who want to design but very few are willing to sit at a machine and learn the process. Designing a garment and knowing how it’s constructed are two different things.”
The pair is well versed in hard work. “Making it in the New Zealand fashion industry is hard work and we are all on the boat trying to stay afloat. We believe in our vision and keeping our industry alive but people need to buy New Zealand made – if they don’t, we all go out of business.”


The Heart of the City

Like the edgy, robust structured denim products they produce, Dual has stood the test of time and now is located at 5/181 High Street, in the Little High Lanes. At the industrial looking store, which shares a roof with Not Without You wine bar, there are a range of products, including the popular trench coats, jeans, skirts, overalls and soon to be released summer shorts. The next year promises to be a busy one for Phillip and Stuart who plan to ‘flesh-out’ their story further by taking their apparel to a larger market outside of Canterbury and New Zealand. “The most difficult part for us is finding stores that suit our brand values. We will be hitting the road to get our name (and story) out there.”

While Dual’s products are popular with all ages, Phillip says its biggest supporters are those who are not interested in mass-produced items and wish to support New Zealand made products. Nobody knows that more than Dual Designer Gina Lee. “Everyone here is like a family. We help each other out and I love working alongside the staff in the factory. “Producing a pair of jeans takes team work and takes time. Each garment that leaves here has had many people working on it, helping construct it.”Even though the margins are small, according to Phillip, Dual won’t compromise on quality or its ethos. “If people actually saw where some of New Zealand’s top designers have their brands made, they wouldn’t buy them.


The Heart of the City


“Ours is a story that is local – an authentic New Zealand story.”
For further information, email, phone 03 925 9786 or pop into the retail shop next to Little High Eatery.


Terra Viva

Christmas goes ‘modern NZ’: Terra Viva

Iconic Christchurch store Terra Viva is a veritable mecca of all things Christmas, between the garden centre, the inspiring home and giftwares department, and the fully-licensed café. Metropol catches up with Terra Viva’s effervescent Peter Worsp about what we can expect to see decking the halls in 2018.


Terra Viva


Terra Viva Home & Garden has made a quantum leap from the ‘good old days’ when Christmas decorations were all about Father Christmas and always in red velvet and gold. Contemporary Christmas decorations have a great New Zealand look and, because they don’t have a strongly specific Christmas design, they’re multi-purpose and can be used all year round. There’s a definite move away from the short annual outing for three weeks at Christmas – makes a lot more sense!

Even the Christmas trees themselves are quite different, with LED/seed lights, and the most popular line is the white or black stemmed lit trees which give a simply superb look all year round. Combine the soft glow with candles and tealights, and double the effect by placing them in front of a mirror. LED/seed lights/fairy lights are the quick and easy way to create a festive glow, so coil them into glass vases with green foliage, or artificial flowers, and there’s an instant table decoration. A small wreath of foliage around each jar, artificial or real, adds the finishing touch.

The contemporary colour themes focus on soft mossy greens, greys, natural wood, cream, vintage-effect paint finishes with silver or glittering glass to enhance and contrast.  The stars this year are the appealing little felted unicorns, mice and dogs dressed in ballerina outfits – little skirts etc – along with the ceramic animals. Their cuteness appeals strongly to children, so use them all year round in shadow boxes.

If you’re heading off to the bach for Christmas, check out the strong New Zealand coastal theme with shell hangings, and shell/bead/pearl cones for table centrepieces – these are decorations that will still look the part long after the festive season is over.



Original Sin

Temptation is a powerful thing: Original Sin

Original Sin has a great new menu and two fantastic chefs to bring that to you. Stephan and Kristina’s goal is to bring quality food from around the world to the patrons of Original Sin, presenting fresh, local cuisine that titillates the taste buds with variety and flare.


Original Sin


Stephan Kriegelstein has been appointed Executive Chef at Original Sin Restaurant in Christchurch. Kriegelstein has spent the past 15 years cooking for some of the best award-winning restaurants in Europe, sharing kitchens with Michelin-starred chefs and developing a unique culinary style, using seasonal produce to create contemporary yet unpretentious dishes.  His philosophy, ‘cooking is an expression of love, passion and joy of life’ can be found in every aspect of Stephan’s life. He began his career as a cook in the regional Bavarian restaurant Alpengasthof Sonnenhof. After finishing his traineeship, he started working in the restaurant of Colombi Hotel in Freiburg, which holds a Michelin star. Next was to the renowned Grand Hotel Kronenhof and Hotel Waldhaus Sils Maria in Switzerland, after which he returned to Germany to work for the prestigious Relais & Châteaux Hotel Vilino at Lake Constance.

While in Switzerland he met Kristina, who was about to finish culinary school. They set off to work together at some of the best restaurants in Switzerland and Austria and now they are here in Christchurch, bringing their expertise to Original Sin.
“It is our aim to re-explore regional and traditional specialties,” Stephan says. “Our guests should receive a sophisticated insight into the Canterbury region, combined with the harmony of nature and the variety of food we have here. We will bring all our expertise, using modern cooking techniques which will meet flavours from New Zealand and all over the world, only using the best produce from regional businesses and farmers. We will create classic dishes with a unique twist – keeping our German background in mind.”


Join the Oxford Club to receive special deals and a 5 percent credit back from Fat Eddies, Kong, Bealey Ale House, The Bog and, of course, Original Sin. Register at

Book your next decadent adventure, phone 03 595 5330, or drop into ground floor A, 76 Hereford Street to confess your gastronomic sins today.



Confection Perfection

Confection Perfection

Nothing quite epitomises the Kiwi Christmas more than the traditional pavlova however, there’s more than one way to create this confection perfection.


Confection Perfection


Magical Marshmallow
For an extra marshmallowy variation of the classic, why not try a simple strawberry pavlova roll, complete with fruit pulp. Or, give a meringue roulade a go for a delicious twist on the classic!

Mini Morsels
There’s no denying pavlovas can be a serving nightmare. To keep your creation pretty on the plate, why not simplify things with these mini morsels. Quick cooking, quick cooling and ideal to bake ahead, mini pavlovas or meringues are sure to be a recipe you turn to time and again.


Pavlova Tree
If you’re feeling creative, why not make a Christmas tree from mini pavlovas? You could use green food colouring with your pavlovas, use cream to stack them in a triangle formation, then decorate with edible Christmas decorations.


Choc Champion
Adding a little chocolate to your pavlova creates a decadent fudgy dessert that will blow your mind. Pair this recipe with a generous dollop of whipped cream, grated chocolate, flaked almonds and a scattering of fresh raspberries.


Ice ice baby
When it’s fast and sensational you’re after, using icing sugar in place of caster sugar cuts down on beating requirements, preventing the egg white from becoming overworked and stiff, resulting in a beautiful marshmallowy middle. Take it to the next level with a drool-worthy tiramisu torte.


Beautiful Banoffee
Combing banoffee and pavlova, you know it’s going to be a winner. Made from two meringue discs (that sandwich together), cream, chocolate, caramel and banana, it’s a stunning dessert that looks as impressive as it tastes.


Out of left field
For something a little different, why not try layered tortes, such as a delicious tropical coconut meringue delight or a crushed pavlova parfait. There’s so much you can do with a marshmallowy meringue base and with the internet at your disposal, why not let you fingers do the walking?



Va Va Vegan

Va Va Vegan

Limiting or excluding meat, dairy products and eggs was once on the cusp of consumer consciousness. But now veganism is hitting the mainstream. A menu that was traditionally not universally available or appetising, today it is all that and a bag of kale chips.


Va Va Vegan


In New Zealand, more than half of Kiwis say they are eating less meat, and a quarter expect to be mostly meat-free by 2025, according to the results of a recent survey by Bean Supreme.

Meanwhile to research from Stanford University in the United States suggests a produce-driven diet directly helps the health of the planet in more ways than one: growing produce generates fewer carbon emissions and uses less water than raising livestock, resulting in less of an environmental toll.


If you’re getting a serious case of culinary FOMO, we have collated a creative collection of our all-time vegan favourites:

Vegan Mac n Cheese

Kale, Black Bean and Avocado Burrito Bowl

Sugar Snap Pea and Carrot Soba Noodles

Creamy (vegan!) Butternut Squash Linguine with Fried Sage

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Vegetable Paella

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce over Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Rice

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls

Spiced Vegan Lentil Soup

Spicy Sweet Potato and Green Rice Burrito Bowls

Butternut Squash Chipotle Chilli with Avocado



Distinction Christchurch

The Perfect Place: Distinction Christchurch + Win With Metropol

Location, quality accommodation and scrumptious food are just some of the reasons why Distinction Christchurch is the place to stay in the central city.


Distinction Christchurch


Located at 14 Cathedral Square, the hotel recently opened in March and stands proud amongst a growing vibrant central city.
Watch the world go by as you sit in the comfortable and modern lobby or relax in the Gumption restaurant and bar with its stylish layout. The restaurant has a fabulous and affordable menu with generous portions, rich flavours and delicious New Zealand produce prepared by an internationally trained culinary team – including a specialist pastry chef.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s the ideal sanctuary for relaxing with a pre-dinner drink after a day of business or adventure. There are also conference facilities with plenty of space to entertain colleagues, friends and family. With live music every Friday and Saturday night, it’s the perfect place to start (or finish) your evening, ideally positioned close to the Botanic Gardens, Avon River, Christchurch Casino, The Crossing, Christchurch Library and the Isaac Theatre Royal.

The friendly staff will cater to your needs and make sure your stay or visit is enjoyable and memorable. With valet parking and 179 elegant guest rooms, Distinction Christchurch is truly an attractive 4.5 star hotel option designed to suit everyone.


Win With Metropol

Distinction Christchurch has one night’s accommodation, dinner and breakfast for two to giveaway.
To enter, please visit click to select the competitions you wish to enter. Entries close Monday 3 December and winners will be notified the following day.