Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 31 July 2009 Contents LOCAL NEWS
31 July, 2009 | Page 13
The Garston Hotel reopened last
week to much local anticipation.
After being closed since Easter,
the licence has been taken over
by chef Alan Chrastecky and his
partner Vicki Candish who hope to
be able to maintain the feel of the
iconic local pub while at the same
time enhancing and expanding the
food side of the business.
To that end they’ve called on Mr
Chrastecky’s culinary expertise
to introduce “Al’s Cafe/Diner” in
a bid to entice passing motorists
through the doors and relaunch
the pub as a place for good, hearty
southern meals where people can
dine for anything between about
$14 and $26.
The cafe – separate to the bar
area – will serve a range of food
throughout the day from cabinet
selections such as paninis,
homemade pies, quiche, muffins
and good old Southland cheese
rolls to a la carte options.
In the evenings Mr Chrastecky will
offer an a la carte dinner menu.
Everything will be made fresh
on site, right down to the bread
served with the soup.
Originally from Auckland, Mr
Chrastecky has worked in the
Queenstown area for 10 years.
He was a chef at Kingston Corner
for 18 months and is well known
in the area. He said he hoped the
hotel would grow to be known as a
must-stop place to eat but didn’t
want the “gastro pub” title it had
been landed with in the past.
“Apparently that means upmarket
pub grub,” he said.
Getting the old pub back in
running order had proved more
difficult than first expected. Even
though only closed for a few
months, the lack of life had taken
its toll and Mr Chrastecky had
found himself crawling around in
the ceiling, playing handyman and
dealing with things like burst water
pipes before he could even think
about starting in the kitchen.
Despite the obvious trials of
working within an old building,
it was an honour to do so, the
“We just feel quite privileged
to be part of the history,” Miss
“We’re just one of the
caretakers who have been
through this place.”
Hospitality was a risky business
and the couple are well aware
the statistics don’t always
paint a rosy picture for new
cafes and restaurants starting
up, particularly in the current
But they’ve done their homework
and are up for the challenge.
“People still spend in a recession
but they’ve got to feel they’re
getting value for money,” Miss
Miss Candish will keep her job
as an administrator for a local
contracting company and will
help out at the hotel after hours.
That will leave the lion’s share of
the work to Mr Chrastecky and
staff. As well as cooking, he’ll take
bookings, wait tables,
not to mention oversee the bar,
bottle store and accommodation
sides of the business.
But he’s not afraid of hard work.
“I’m used to getting little sleep –
it’s a chef’s lot.”
Initially they’ll be closed on Sunday
evenings and all day Mondays
but will build up to a seven-day
service come summer.
Chef cooks up plans to whet
new appetite for old pub
Chef and licensee Alan Chrastecky
at work in the kitchen of the Garston
Hotel which reopened for business
When friends have asked Greg
and Jodi Cockburn when they’ll
get a new lounge suite the answer
has been standard for several
years: “we’re not getting one until
Greg wins the classic”.
Now he has no more excuses.
Last weekend he and teammate
Dean Bell took out the 32nd
annual Fiordland Golf Classic,
each winning a $1000 voucher
from Hunter Furniture.
out for the
held in near
The line-up included players from
as far afield as Australia. There
was also huge support from 21
major sponsors and hundreds of
other minor supporters.
Mr Cockburn said before the
competition his wife had again
hinted that a new lounge suite
was needed but, midway through
the competition, when he realised
he might be in with a chance the
pressure really began to build.
“It’s not like it’s the British Open
or anything but we were choking
something terrible,” he said.
“I could smell a new lounge suite
and I knew the wife would be
Golf gives cause to lounge about
Greg Cockburn on the tired old
furniture he can now replace.
FIORDLAND GOLF CLASSIC RESULTS
Dean Bell & Greg Cockburn 58; John Hughes & Craig Gander 59; Nigel Fowle &
Norma McCracken 59; Barry McAlister & Willie Swale 59
Men – Gross Blair Sinclair 72, Nett Blair Sinclair 72-5-68. Women – Gross Diane
Lanaway 84, Nett Maree Rose 98-27-71
Dean Bell & Greg Cockburn 1 (201), Steve Sanders & Alan Miller 2 (203), Mern
McLean & Garth Stewart 3 (206), Nigel Fowle & Norma McCracken 4 (207), Franz
Klein & Doug Hamilton 5 (209), Richard Davison &
John Rawcliffe 6 (210), Tony Frater & Fraser Ross 7 (211), Barry Sharp & Dylan
Winsloe 8 (214), Lindsay Harliwich & Heather McKenzie 9 (214).
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