About Us

ant-and-lou

There is a growing awareness of the importance of eating well these days. With the rapid rise of fast foods and processed foods over the past 30 – 40 years many people have forgotten or never learned how to cook. We want to change this trend and show people that cooking healthy nutritious meals can be quick and easy.

We want to show people that cooking doesn’t have to be a chore but can be rewarding and a lot of fun. From planning a meal to sourcing the ingredients from different markets, we want to demonstrate that cooking is a way of life. Additionally we want to highlight how easy and economical it can be to grow your own produce and emphasise the importance of eating together. Ultimately we want to bring ‘real’ food back into everyday life.

 

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Lou Bentley
Chef & Food Enthusiast

Lou trained at the New Zealand School of Food & Wine in Christchurch in 2003 and has had many hours experience in the kitchen both in New Zealand and in the UK. Restaurants in New Zealand include Hays working alongside Celia Hay and in the catering industry at White Tie with Tina Duncan.

In London, where Lou spent 10 years from 1995 she started out working as a senior analyst in Investment Banking.  After completing her stint at cooking school and working in the food industry in NZ, Lou headed back to London and worked at the renowned Bankside restaurant & bar Zacudia from it’s inception and was instrumental in establishing the menu and getting the kitchen up and running. Lou continued to help out in the restaurant whilst working full time as an analyst for UBS Bank in the City. Lou and Ant returned back to NZ in 2006.

Lou’s real passion however is food & cooking and sourcing local, seasonal produce which suits Akaroa perfectly. Every week we are finding new suppliers and fantastic artisan products made on the Peninsula and an abundance of berries, fruits and nuts growing wild in the hedgerows. Lou was born and bred in Oxford, North Canterbury growing up on a farm.

Ant Bentley
Marketing Manager & Chief Taster

Ant has always had a passion for food & cooking and has always harboured a desire to combine this with tourism in some manner.

Ant grew up in Auckland and spent his childhood summers at Waiheke Island where fresh seafood was never far off the menu. Winter holidays were spent on relatives farms in the Wairarapa where he developed an understanding of food origins.

After spending four days at a cooking school in Chang Mai Thailand the seed was planted to do something similar in New Zealand. After a few holidays in Akaroa he felt there was a real opportunity to develop a similar styled cooking school based on fresh local ingredients and having fun.