You would be forgiven if progressive and contemporary weren’t words you immediately associated with an historic property under the name Heritage. But the 100-year-old art deco Heritage Auckland Hotel is pioneering a program to promote healthier dining, more local and sustainable ingredients and more inclusive menu options. This initiative, launched earlier this year, is known as The Good Food Project and is being rolled out across the 20 plus hotels under the Heritage Hotels Group across New Zealand. The Good Food Project has detailed six commitments, one of which is to have plant-based options on every menu. Take a moment to read more about The Good Food Project from Heritage Hotels. We have to say that this is the first of its kind that we have seen in all our travels and we’re excited to get to share this with our readers!
The project will introduce a rich array of plant-based dishes to every menu. We’ll showcase the best seasonal produce from the areas surrounding each hotel. For guests with allergies or special dietary needs, a selection of mouthwatering dishes will be developed. A wealth of positive guest feedback has also ensured that the Heritage Auckland’s popular raw breakfast will become more widely available in our hotels throughout the country.
Food will be an increasingly enticing part of the exceptional and complete accommodation experience we strive to deliver each day. Heritage Hotel guests can count on being nourished and uplifted as well as rested and ready for their day of work or play.
Showcasing the strengths of the regions surrounding our hotels, in tune with the seasons.
Commitment #2 Plant-based dishes on every menu
Offering a wider range of exciting dishes that celebrate the flavours and nutritional value of plant-based food.
Commitment #3 Raw breakfast rollout
Making Heritage Auckland’s wildly popular raw breakfast available to guests in other parts of the country.
Commitment #4 Vegetables oils only
Our hotels cook with healthier vegetable based oil alternatives.
Commitment #5 Dishes for dietary needs
Ensuring guests with unique food requirements, like gluten free, have desirable options on the menu.
Commitment #6 Keeping kids healthy
Offering Good Food options for the entire family.
At the fore of this project is Hectors Restaurant at Heritage Auckland Hotel, and leading the way at Hectors is Executive Chef Jinu Abraham. We had the opportunity to sit down with Chef Jinu and discuss The Good Food Project and plant-based dining at Hectors.
We were impressed with his dedication and devotion to following through with the commitments laid out in the project. Vegan diners can take comfort in knowing that Chef Jinu makes every effort to segregate the preparation of vegan dishes in his kitchen. To avoid contamination the kitchen has separate prep, work and cook stations devoted to vegan items along with color coded kitchen tools specifically dedicated to the vegan stations. Kitchen staff are trained to have an understanding of the importance and significance of segregation in the kitchen and service staff are also well versed and informed on their menus and special diets.
While Chef Jinu Abraham is not a vegan, or a vegetarian, he enjoys creating and developing unique and flavorsome plant-based dishes using fresh seasonal produce and new and different techniques.
Heritage Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
These two desserts contrast one another quite well. While one is light, fruity, tropical and refreshing, the other is rich, decadent and downright irresistible.
Heritage Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Starting from the top left (clockwise), we had Polenta Crumbed Artichokes with activated almonds, paprika and eggless aioli; Truffled Mushroom on Sourdough with chickpea puree and olive paste; Baked Tempeh & Cauliflower Filo with beetroot chili relish; and Mini Arancini with vegan mozarella, homemade smokey tomato sauce.
We loved the Polenta Crumbed Artichokes and Truffled Mushroom on Sourdough. Mini Arancini was the only disappointment since we couldn’t taste the ‘vegan mozzarella.’
Heritage Auckland Hotel also has an extensive wine list, available at Hectors and the lobby bar, including certified vegan wines. Only wines that are certified vegan receive the V-check on the menu. So while some wineries have informed the hotel that they are vegan, the property understands that they have a responsibility to their guests and have only labeled the wines that are certified vegan with the V-check on the menu.
Verdict for Heritage Auckland Hotel
We have not been compensated to promote or share this, we have chosen to share and promote this because The Good Food Project is something we can get behind and truly support. We hope more hotels follow the example Heritage Hotels is setting with their commitment to healthier, more sustainable and more inclusive dining options.
We also feel that Heritage Hotels and Hectors Restaurant is in good hands with Chef Jinu. They are fortunate to have such an open-minded, driven and motivated chef. He is constantly striving to evolve his dishes and learn new techniques and methods while also developing connections with his ingredients and their sources. Chef Jinu was a pleasure to meet and a refreshing personality in the kitchen. Hectors Restaurant and Heritage Hotels are atop our list of places to visit for any vegan (or for that matter, anyone with special dietary needs or restrictions) in New Zealand. Head to Hectors Restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand for lovely vegan fare including an exclusively vegan lobby bar, raw breakfast bar and vegan wine selections!
35 Hobson Street, Auckland 6001, New Zealand
Disclosure: Lunch at Hectors Restaurant was complimentary, provided by Heritage Auckland Hotel. All thoughts and opinions are our own, we have not been compensated to provide any feedback positive or otherwise.
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