At the time of this chat the country was preparing for the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern's COVID-19 briefing as to whether New Zealand would move from Level3 to Level2. No business owner yet knew what numbers of people, if any, could gather.
5 weeks at Level4 and two weeks at Level3 totalled seven weeks of restaurants being closed to seated patrons. The final two weeks in level3 saw many restaurants choosing to run takeaway, delivery and contactless pickup. Restaurateur Fleur Caulton and internationally recognised Michelin starred chef Josh Emett's company Go-To Collection* at this stage chose only to operate takeaways out of specific Hawker and Roll outlets.
Go To Collection restaurants include: Rata restaurant, Queenstown, Madam Woo restaurants in Queenstown, Hamilton and Takapuna and Hawker and Roll fast casual eateries in Queenstown, Christchurch, Tauranga and Auckland.
Thursday 7th May 2020.
Co-founder Fleur Caulton, a seasoned restaurant owner and the heart behind Madam Woo, spared some time to chat with local Dunedin based writer Louise Moulin. This chat took place as the government announced the details of the hoped-for move to Alert Level2.
Louise M: What is your vision for Madame Woo post COVID19?
Fleur C: Like everyone I want to get back to some kind of normality. But in a staggered approach, sitting back and really understanding what is happening in our communities. We hope to continue to look after the locals in some capacity, and we source our ingredients from local farmers where we can. To, for want of a better word, re-imagine a locally-self-reliant future. Which has always been my intention.
Louise M: What is your favourite dish at Madame Woo?
Fleur C: The most popular is Beef Rendang, a kind of comfort food, and the prawn dumplings. And the hawker roll everyone loves which is also a big seller.
Louise M: What is important?
Fleur C: The dining experience. How it is for the customer. The whole experience from the moment they walk in the door.
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