State Highway 25, Whenuakite, Tairua-Whitianga Road Phone 07 866 3725
Good quality seasonal food, fresh from local growers is the focus for chef Emily Thomas who is now in charge of the kitchen at Colenso Licensed Cafe.
Back from an extended stay overseas, Emily is working alongside her mother and stepfather Judy and Gary Inglis, who've had years of experience in hospitality - and says she's lucky to also have a group of experienced staff.
Colenso, one of the Coromandel Peninsula’s best known establishments with its shop, garden and mandarin orchard, has long been a favourite of locals and holiday visitors.
A trained chef, Emily spent 11 years working overseas. Her passion for travel, fresh produce and cooking led to a varied career starting in Sydney working with wholesale produce and with celebrity chef Bill Grainger.
In London, Emily worked with Rose Grey and Ruth Rogers at the famed River Cafe, where her passion for and understanding of fresh seasonal produce began.
It's autumn but we're still getting enough balmy days to enjoy lunch and coffee out in the garden
She also spent time in Italy as a woofer, learning to milk goats, make cheese and sell it at the local market.
Back in Australia she worked in Melbourne cafes and studied nutrition.
Emily then crewed as a chef on super yachts in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. Her work included provisioning at local markets along the coasts which increased her understanding of the importance of fresh and seasonal produce.
This year, Judy and Emily are planning winter group lunches and workshops to pass on their passion for good local produce and great food.
Open daily 10am to 4pm
Closed Easter Friday and Christmas & Boxing Days
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