Tell us a bit about Sherwood.

Chris: Sherwood is a 1980s mock-Tudor inn, repurposed and refit with a sustainable ethos. On the food side, we run a garden-to-table restaurant.

You’ve been at Sherwood now for coming on two years. How did you get here?

Chris: I’m originally from Hamilton but spent time cooking in the Michelin star system in the UK and the hat system in Melbourne. When my wife Hayley and I came home, we opened our own restaurant in Hamilton, Zinc Bar & Eatery. We ran that for about six years, sold it, and at that point, Josh Emett asked me to come and set up Rātā with him. I did that, spent a cruisy couple of years out at Jack's Point for a bit of a rest, and came to Sherwood just after the first Covid outbreak.

Black and white portrait of Chris Scott

Sherwood executive chef Chris Scott.

Sherwood grows most of its own produce onsite. What’s that like for you as a chef?

Chris: I love it and it absolutely influences how I cook – really, the garden writes the menu. It's quite special that the produce only lasts for a certain period and then it’s gone for another year. It’s also pretty amazing to watch things grow from seed – and all our food waste goes into compost, which goes back on the garden, so it’s really full circle.

How do you like to cook your produce?

Chris: When you watch something through its whole growth cycle, you want to respect that as much as you can. I like to keep things simple, and cook and serve food that tastes like itself – I don’t want to get too clever with it or make it unrecognisable. I tend towards fresh, hyper-seasonal menus and lots of plant options, which is definitely the movement right now. A piece of beef is a piece of beef – it's kind of the same base product no matter what you do to it. But you can get a lot more creative with different pairings in the plant world.

Sherwood’s kitchen also uses foraged produce. Tell us a bit about that.

Chris: We don’t forage as much as we used to, with the garden 10 metres from the kitchen door! But we do go and hunt down mushrooms in the autumn, crab apples and things like walnuts. It’s pretty special to be able to use what’s all around us.

What’s special about Queenstown?

Chris: It’s such a dramatic landscape and the buzz is incredible. It really behaves like a big city when there’s international tourism. I also love how definite the four seasons are. And we’re avid skiers and mountain bikers and here those things are so accessible. The kids are growing up living the dream.

A dish of artichokes from the garden at Sherwood. 

A dish of artichokes from the garden at Sherwood.

Looking down over The Sherwood sign through threes

Sherwood Queenstown offers world-class food and accommodation with a sustainable ethos.