Freddie Ponder is originally from the UK but calls himself Kiwi proud. He is a passionate chef, husband, father and surfer and has been head chef at Table Restaurant since May last year. Prior to this Freddie was at Salt on the Waterfront for three and a half years where he successfully ran the kitchen team as well as achieving some great culinary accolades during his time there.
Freddie says he feels extremely lucky and blessed to live in Taranaki and is inspired by the beautiful scenery he is surrounded by, especially the lush green grass growing amazing beef and lamb. He loves to pop in to surrounding farms to source locally grown, fresh ingredients for his dishes in between taking the kids surfing or skateboarding. Freddie attributes his great kitchen and front of house team at Table Restaurant to his success and says it is a great playground to be creative with New Zealand beef and lamb. With such a great team and restaurant owners behind him, Freddie says every day is wonderful.
This is Freddie’s second time as a Beef and Lamb Ambassador Chef and he says it was a wonderful experience to work with Beef and Lamb New Zealand during 2018. To become an Ambassador Chef once again in 2019 – “it’s like wow in chef talk, time to smash it!”
Inspired by his surroundings, Freddie says the idea for his smoked eye fillet with BBQ short rib, beetroot three ways, goats; cheese and basil jelly came late at night looking at the crazy-red West Coast sunset and smelling the delicious aromas of a late-night BBQ going on down the road. Eye fillet has such a beautiful flavour, and with a quick smoke to finish if off gives the aroma of a backyard BBQ. The short rib’s amazing, juicy texture will be like a beef experience in itself and the colours and flavours of beetroot work perfectly for my crazy, red sunset.