QT Queenstown welcomes award-winning chef Ryan Henley, leading the food and beverage programme across the hotel’s outlets including Bazaar Marketplace, Reds Bar, and a new pop-up restaurant Lil Red at QT.
With 20 years’ experience across New Zealand and Australia, Ryan cut his teeth in the New Zealand culinary scene at the age of 15, before returning home to Australia to broaden his horizons. He comes to QT Queenstown by way of The George in Christchurch, working at the hotel’s Park Bistro before serving as Chef de Cuisine for the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant Pescatore, and earning Two Hats in the Cuisine Good Food Awards.
It was home in Melbourne where Ryan earned another career highlight at Melbourne’s celebrated Three Hatted restaurant, Vue de Monde. He credits his time there with defining his personal philosophy about food that he brings with him to QT Queenstown.
“Ingredient-focussed. That’s how I’d describe my style. I make sure we have the very best produce and know where everything comes from. You’ll see sustainably caught seafood and native ingredients, with a focus on foraging and raw,” says Chef Ryan.
Since commencing his role as QT Queenstown executive chef, Ryan has forged new partnerships with local producers including a fisherman in Bluff who fishes to order each week, Black Origin Wagyu beef from Christchurch and Leelands lamb that graze on the plains in Invercargill. This sustainable commitment as well as his energy, excitement and innovation are reflected in QT Queenstown’s menus across all venues including new pop-up concept, Lil Red at QT.
Introducing Lil Red at QT
In time for the height of ski season in Queenstown, Ryan is leading a new dining pop-up concept, Lil Red at QT. Launching June 25, the intimate 40-seat restaurant will focus on quality, local ingredients with a no wastage ethos and using traditional and Japanese cooking techniques.
Tucked away on the sixth floor of QT Queenstown alongside Reds Bar and Bazaar, Lil Red at QT will feature menu standouts like Kurobuta pork loin chop with fermented black doris plum and thyme and dry aged Black Origin Wagyu ribeye with smoke Wagyu fat, plus a selection of smaller dishes, sides and desserts. A curated list of local wines selection was selected to complement the food’s flavours. With a cosy fireplace, a punchy colour palette and QT’s signature service, Lil Red at QT will epitomise fine dining with a casual flair and lashings of QT quirk, taking sassy cues from big sis Reds Bar.
“Chef Ryan brings so much talent, energy and excitement to QT Queenstown, and we’re thrilled to bring to life a new restaurant concept for QT guests, Queenstown visitors and locals. An experimental pop-up, Lil Red at QT will be an exciting culinary destination across the height of an eventful winter, showcasing QT’s expertise in premium food and beverage experiences, plus the very best of New Zealand producers’ seasonal offerings,” says Simon White, general manager operations New Zealand at EVENT Hotels and Resorts.
Bazaar Marketplace takes breakfast to new heights
An extension of Ryan’s focus on local and sustainable ingredients, Bazaar’s much-loved marketplace style breakfast has an exciting refreshed selection, with new interactive stations with theatrical presentation by talented chefs. Highlights include a waffle station with a spread of sweet and savoury toppings, Spanish-style eggs, homemade rosti and breakfast meats made from Lil Red at QT’s Wagyu cuts. A new weekend late breakfast offering will feature extended hours and an add-on DIY Bloody Mary station with a selection of fresh local produce for over-the-top concoctions.
Reds Bar features new winter cocktails
Featuring Queenstown’s largest spirits selection and remarkable views, Reds Bar is rolling out a new winter cocktail list to complement a refreshed seasonal bar snacks menu. Choose from the likes of the gin-based Jen’s Bramble topped with bubbles or the aperitivo-style Coronet Sunset, plus peruse a wine list with a focus on the local Central Otago region. Ryan has made his mark on the snack selection with heroes like miso chicken and Black Origin Wagyu skewers, Leelands lamb ribs and hand-stretched pizzas.
Now accepting reservations, Lil Red at QT opens its doors on June 25. For more information and to explore menus for QT’s Queenstown’s restaurants and bars, visit:
Lil Red at QT: www.qthotels.com/queenstown/eat-drink/lil-red-at-qt
Bazaar Interactive Marketplace: www.bazaarrestaurant.co.nz
Reds Bar: www.redsbar.co.nz