Monday, 16 September 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

New head chef at The Lost Spring restaurant

Libra Kohu has recently been appointed as the new head chef of The Lost Spring restaurant in Whitianga.

Libra has been cooking for 25 years, after discovering a passion for food at the age of 20. Over the past decade, he has spent several summers in Whitianga working in the kitchens of some of the best-known restaurants in town. Most recently he worked for a restaurant group in Hamilton.

Libra didn’t hesitate to apply when he saw The Lost Spring advertising for a new head chef. “The Lost Spring is beautiful” he says. “The restaurant has massive potential. It’s the place I really want to be associated with. I joined two other talented chefs in the kitchen and a whole team of great staff.”

One of Libra’s first jobs was to design a new menu, which will shortly be launched. All the available options will be displayed in a single-page format. For those ordering poolside, a separate tapas menu will be available.

“Diners will have approximately 26 dishes to choose from,” says Libra. “With the creative control I’ve been given, I aimed to make the menu practical and functional, using quality ingredients that I know people will enjoy.”

“My focus is on classic and popular dishes made up of seasonal and regional ingredients. I would like us to source from local small-time growers such as those growing micro herbs.”

New menus dishes include deep fried risotto balls, lamp rump, hāpuka, hand cut fries, eye fillet and duck breast. An apple and cinnamon crème brûlée is among the desserts.

The menu will change approximately four times during the course of the year to provide variety to local Mercury Bay residents. A special will be on offer each day of the week and all menu items will be available to order at any time of the day.

“It’s important to me to know what my diners like and dislike,” says Libra. “I would be very open to people approaching me with menu ideas and feedback on the food we serve. I would also like to see a larger number of local residents dining at the restaurant.

“At the moment we open at breakfast time seven days a week, but stay open for dinner service only on Fridays and Saturdays. I hope that we’ll be open for dinner every day of the week from September this year.”

The Lost Spring restaurant kitchen will soon receive an upgrade. The kitchen size will be increased, cooking equipment will be improved and additional staff will eventually be employed, including a fourth chef.   

 “I’m very excited to be working in such a fantastic atmosphere,” says Libra. “The Lost Spring has such a timeless environment and I want to ensure that all of my diners feel relaxed, like they can lose track of him here. Customer satisfaction is my number one priority.”

When he isn’t working, Libra enjoys photography, as well as getting his hands dirty outdoors with a passion for horticulture.     

Pictured: Libra Kohu, the new head chef at The Lost Spring restaurant in Whitianga.

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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.