The Rees - True South

Introducing our Executive Chef

Executive Chef Ben Batterbury

Ben has a love of using supreme quality ingredients and seasonal Southern produce he personally sources in Central Otago and intimately handcrafts from the ground up in his True South Dining kitchen, ensuring perfection.

This seamless relationship between man and his tools certainly contributes to the mouth-watering monthly menus, that showcase Ben’s signature style that is fresh, clean on the palate and exhibits creativity, innovation and above all, amazing flavour.

Starting out as Sous Chef at Studley Priory Hotel, part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World consortium, Ben began learning his craft in the award-winning, triple rosette-awarded ‘Croke Restaurant’, a dining room of traditional grandeur and gleaming silverware that served the epitome of modern English cuisine.

30-year-old, Bristol-born Batterbury developed his talent for creating innovative but classically-based dishes under the direction of two Michelin-starred British chefs, Gary Jones, who is now executive head chef at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons restaurant in Oxford, and Simon Crannage at the Charlton House luxury country hotel, Somerset.

He advanced to Head Chef status of ‘Lomonds Restaurant’ at Cameron House, another triple rosette-award winner. Here, Ben honed his skills for two further years, plating up the finest of Scotland’s seasonal harvests.

During the two years he was Head Chef at Cameron House, he ensured its Lomonds Restaurant rated among the top 10 percent with the AA guide in the United Kingdom, cooked for the King of Jordan, and saw one of his trainees win Scotland’s Young Chef of the Year award.

Since 2009, Ben has been Executive Chef at True South Dining Room, our impeccably stylish flagship restaurant and built an epicurean network of local suppliers who share a passion for their produce and a commitment to high quality.

“Our food needs to be recognizable, superbly cooked and presented in a way that keeps the basic flavours true, but embellished or combined to deliver an element of surprise … Dining out is a kind of theatre – providing pleasure to all the senses.”

In recent times media from Auckland to Southland featured Ben, he has also appeared recently on TVNZ’s Good Morning Show conducting a Master Class, and the television series ‘New Zealand on a Plate’ and is a culinary talent to be reckoned with in this part of the world.

With Ben at the helm, True South Dining Room has received a Beef & Lamb Excellence Award for 2012, 2013 and 2014. He is also a New Zealand Beef & Lamb Ambassador Chef.

In January 2013, international restaurant guide ‘Where Chefs Eat’ was released by Phaidon Press. Featuring restaurant recommendations from approximately 400 internationally renowned chefs, it includes a list of both local and international contributions from Ben.