5 minutes with artist Heather Straka
Heather Straka is tickled by the irony of being isolated in Auckland and unable to attend her own Isolation Hotel exhibition in Christchurch. ...
Tom Newfield is the brains behind some of Christchurch's best hospo haunts: Welles Street pub, Earl bistro, Welder Events and Bottle + Stone. He's recently opened a views-for-days new rooftop bar called The Pink Lady, and if his track record is anything to go by, it's set to be our favourite new summer drinking spot.
Out of your many establishments and venues, do you have a favourite? Aww, that's like asking who your favourite child is. I set out to create diverse venues, each with their own distinct voice, personality, and place within the city's hospitality landscape, and each are very special to me and have features that contribute to the vibrant culture we are trying to create.
You've got an enviable track record - are you lucky or is it all about hard work? I am lucky in that I have an incredible team and together we all work very hard.
What's on the cards for 2021? 2020 threw us all enough curve balls and taught us to expect the unexpected, so whatever comes our way, I am sure we will be ready for it. In saying that, we have a few exciting things up our sleeves.
Why did you choose hospo as a career? The people, the energy and of course, the food.
You live in the central city, right? What do you love about that? I do and I love it! I love how it grows into its own a little more each day. I love having my favourite go-to spots and getting to know the people that work there and having them wave out to you on the street as you walk past each day.
If you hadn't gotten into this business, what would you be doing? Providing it involved dealing with great people each day, I am sure I would be happy.
What are three key elements to a truly tasty dish? Fresh produce, a passion for what you're making, and good company to enjoy it with. Olive oil, lemon and salt help too.
What's your guilty pleasure? Rosé.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given? The answer is always no if you don't ask the question.
I can't leave the house without... Making my bed. It starts the day off right, and if all else fails throughout the day, at least you achieved something and can come home to some order.
Have you read any good books lately? At the moment I am reading a great book by Danny Meyer, a New York City restaurateur who I admire.
What do you think Christchurch needs the most? A rooftop bar...
What excites you about Christchurch in the summer? Walking Godley Head, checking out local wineries for lunch, kicking back at the festivals and sipping spritzes in the sunshine (at said rooftop bar).
What are you binge-watching at the moment? I have very little time (or patience) to sit and watch TV, but I have finally got on the Schitt's Creek bandwagon, and any cooking show is usually my go-to.
You've got friends coming from out of town. Where do you go and what would you do to show off the city in 24 hours: Brunch at The Residency, a walk through the CBD and Botanic Gardens, and an afternoon drinking wine in North Canterbury and swimming somewhere around Banks Peninsula. The evening would be chilled, perhaps a BBQ with the family - I like to cook (and I'll make them do the dishes!).
Where do you go to:
Wine and dine with friends: Earl
Morning coffee: The Residency Café at the Muse
Shop up a storm: I'm like a bull in a china shop when I go to The Mediterranean Food Co.
Get away from it all: My family has a holiday home an hour up the coast, it's pretty special for a getaway to reset.