The Rees - True South

Media Release | 19 January 2012

Media Release
19th January 2012


True South Dining Room’s Executive Chef Ben Batterbury has been selected as an Ambassador Chef in the 2012 Beef & Lamb Excellence Awards – a first for the tourism capital of Queenstown.

The annual Excellence Awards recognise consistency and quality in the preparation and presentation of beef and lamb cuisine from restaurants nationwide. Of the 208 entries, just five chefs have been selected as 2012 Beef & Lamb New Zealand Ambassadors for displaying exceptional culinary skills during the anonymous assessment process.

Beef & Lamb New Zealand Inc’s Jennie Dean says Mr Batterbury’s Hereford prime hanger steak and Cardrona Merino lamb neck and shoulder restaurant dishes were deemed faultless by the judges. “We are looking for the x factor and his dishes certainly have that.”

Mrs Dean says it is surprising that it has taken 15 years to award a Queenstown chef the accolade given it’s such an important hospitality and tourism destination. “It’s a real pat on the back for Ben and True South Dining Room.”

It’s not the first time the Bristol-born chef has received recognition for his culinary talent. He developed his gastronomy skills under two Michelin-starred British chefs in Oxford before advancing to Head Chef of Lomonds Restaurant in Scotland where he cooked for the King of Jordan.

Mr Batterbury now resides in New Zealand overseeing True South Dining Room at The Rees Hotel. He crafts menus in a signature style that is both fresh and flavoursome using locally sourced seasonal ingredients. This approach was instrumental in the restaurant being named as a Premier Award winner in the inaugural Taste of New Zealand Awards (TONZA) programme last year.

Earlier in 2011 Mr Batterbury delighted the palates of discerning international media in New York attending ‘Flavours of New Zealand’ hosted by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and The Rees Hotel at the Beard Foundation.

He has also made appearances on TVNZ’s Good Morning Show and the television series ‘New Zealand on a Plate’.

Word of Mr Batterbury’s talent has spread across the Tasman where he is the first New Zealand chef to be invited to participate in the 2012 Noosa Food & Wine Festival alongside 200 of the most influential international chefs, winemakers, media and food personalities. Recognised as the premier food and wine event in Australia, the Festival runs for four action-packed days from May 17-20.

The first of Mr Batterbury’s official duties as a Beef & Lamb Ambassador Chef commence on February 7 at an Ambassador Chef photo shoot where he will cook beef and lamb dishes before making a guest appearance as a celebrity judge at the Golden Lamb Awards (Glammies) at the Wanaka A & P show, March 9-10.


The Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments, Queenstown, New Zealand
The Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments blends chic five star accommodation with all the comforts of home and the service and facilities of an elite international hotel.
Situated on the absolute lakefront, The Rees’ terraced construction delivers complete privacy and showcases panoramic views overlooking Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables Mountains in Queenstown, New Zealand.
It’s landmark restaurant is the True South Dining Room.

For more information contact:

Victoria Hawkins
Ph: (09) 575 0821
Mob: (021) 605 342

Sarah Sparks
Director markomPR
Ph: (09) 575 0824
Mob: (021) 318 813