The Rees - True South

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NZ’s Leading Hotel Residence

Monday, February 10th, 2014

new-zealands-leading-hotel-residences-2013-winner-shield-128 The Rees Hotel Queenstown was honoured to be announced as the winner of the  New Zealand Leading Hotel Residence Award in the prestigious 2013 World Travel Awards.

The World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the WTA brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

The annual programme is renowned as the most prestigious and comprehensive in the travel and tourism industry. In 2013, over 500,000 individual votes were cast by travel professionals and high-end tourism consumers.

Each year WTA covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective successes within each key geographical region. The Grand Tour of WTA gala ceremonies are regarded as milestone events in the industry calendar, attended by the industry’s key decision makers, chief figure heads and the leading trade and consumer media.

In 2014, the Grand Tour sees WTA stage gala ceremonies in the Middle East, Africa & the Indian Ocean, South & Central America, North America & the Caribbean, Asia & Australasia, and Europe.

All regional winners then compete head to head in a final round of voting to decide who will triumph in WTA’s world awards – the ultimate accolade in the travel and tourism industry. The winners are announced on the night of the WTA Grand Final at the end of the year.

2014 Beef + Lamb Excellence Award

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

 True South Dining Room Awarded with 2014 Beef + Lamb Excellence Award and Executive Head Chef, Ben Batterbury, Honoured as 2014 Ambassador Chef.

The Excellence Awards are designed to acknowledge a consistently high standard of beef and lamb cuisine. These restaurants have not been compared with each other in the assessment process. Rather, they have been judged on their individual merits.

Whenever you see the Beef and Lamb Excellence Award, you can expect tasty, skilfully composed and superbly presented beef and lamb dishes.


Each year, Beef + Lamb New Zealand selects a team of chefs who have displayed exceptional culinary skills during the assessment period, to be Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ambassador chefs for the year. As well as receiving special recognition for their achievement, the Ambassadors are involved in a planned programme of Beef + Lamb New Zealand activities throughout the year.

Ben Batterbury, Executive Head Chef of The Rees Hotel Queenstown’s True South Dining Room, was honoured to be named again as one of the few ambassador chefs for Beef + Lamb.

Ben has been the Head Chef at True South Dining Room since 2009. Previous to this he held a number of roles across UK restaurants. He trained at Brunel College of Art & Technology between 1994 and 1996.

Ben has had a number of career highlights including cooking at The James Beard House in New York representing New Zealand, helping a chef de partie from Lomonds in Scotland to win Young Scottish Chef of the Year and involvement with the Noosa Food Festival. This is Ben’s second year as a Beef and Lamb Ambassador Chef.



“My thinking is if you buy the best produce there is no need to mask it with too many flavours, I always try to stay true to the product’s natural taste. I also like to take classic dishes and rejig them with my own touch.

“My food always has an adventurous side and I take full advantage of an epicurean network of local suppliers I’ve developed. My aim is to showcase the spectacular Central Otago produce and indulge my passion for fresh, local and seasonal produce in unity with exotic ingredients,” says Ben.



“I became a chef because I hate offices and I like to create things (and to be an Architect would have been another 8 years training!)

“I think that being a chef is like a disease you love to hate! You love the kitchen banter and atmosphere and secretly love the pressure of everyday work loads and the painful rush of a good service. All of it seems worth it when you turn out a plate of food you are happy with. That is where the satisfaction lies, hoping people will enjoy your efforts, understand and  interpret your dishes as you did when they eat them.

“And the soppy answer to the question of inspiration is of course: I want my little man to be proud of his old man too when he grows up!

“As for the future, I always want to be at the top of my game. I want to have the reputation that if young chefs leave my kitchen, their experience is looked at favourably on their CV. I always want to help the future chefs of our industry, I think it’s our responsibility to maintain and raise the standard for the future,” says Ben.


For more about the 2014 Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards, please visit:


Golf Magazine – February 2014

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Click below to read the full article

Golf Magazine Feb 2014 Queenstown

2014 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award

Friday, January 24th, 2014

The Rees Hotel Queenstown is proud to be recognized by TripAdvisor® as one of the top five hotels in New Zealand.  TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site with more than 125 million reviews and opinions by travellers around the world.  Award winners were determined based on the most highly rated hotels on TripAdvisor, according to the reviews and opinions of millions of travellers worldwide.

Click here to read the full press release.

New F&B Manager

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Click here to read the full media release

Finalist in 2 Categories in the international 2013 HM Awards

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Please click here to read the full press release

Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2013 Winner

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

BordeauWinePage True South Dining Room at The Rees Hotel Queenstown has been awarded the prestigious 2013 Award of Excellence by US wine and hospitality magazine, Wine Spectator.

The internationally acclaimed Wine Spectator’s annual Excellence Awards recognise a wine list of 100 or more quality wine selections that thematically match a restaurant’s cuisine.

Host to an exclusive library of Bordeaux Wines with vintages selected from all the great houses of Bordeaux, True South boasts wines from world-renown chateaux such as Latour, Margaux, Mouton Rothschild, Gruaud Larose, Malescot St Exupery and Lynch Bages. They nestle with the best wines of Central Otago and New Zealand in the professionally-managed, temperature-controlled wine cellar servicing the hotel and restaurant’s Bordeau Wine Lounge.

For more information about Wine Spectator’s restaurant awards, please visit:


Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Media Release | 24th May 2013


Honoured as a Top Performing Hotel as Reviewed by Travellers on the
World’s Largest Travel Site

The Rees Hotel Queenstown today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.
To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews
received within the last 12 months.

“The Rees Hotel Queenstown is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said  Mark Rose, CEO . “We strive to offer our customers a memorable experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive reviews on TripAdvisor.”


“TripAdvisor is delighted to celebrate the success of businesses around the globe, from Sydney to Chicago, Sao Paulo to Rome, which are consistently offering TripAdvisor travellers a great customer experience,” said Alison Copus, Vice President of Marketing for TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award provides top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.”



Press Release: Deer Industry New Zealand

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013


Germans take home venison message
Joanna Grigg

They love it and seek it out.

This is the way Innes Moffat wants chefs to think about New Zealand (NZ) venison. As the Marketing Manager for Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ), Moffat recently hosted four young German chefs and eight  German journalists to NZ. The aim was to enthuse them about farm-raised – venison and develop on-going relationships with these influential people within German cuisine.

Some of the feedback from both the young chefs and journalists reveals that there is an ongoing need to improve the level of understanding of how NZ venison is grown and how it can be prepared on the plate.

The big difference between European and NZ venison is that imported kiwi venison is farmed (rather than shot wild game), comes from younger animals and is processed in meat plants, said Moffat.

“This means the product has an excellent level of hygiene and well as being consistently tender and mild flavoured,” said Moffat. “Farmed venison suits summer-style modern dishes and can be used in a less seasonal fashion than game venison which is traditionally cooked slowly with heavier sauces and flavourings.”
The Germans were taken to farms in Canterbury and Otago to see how deer are farmed, then taken through processing plants. They were surprised how quiet the deer were in a farmed environment, said Moffat.

Through meeting farmers the visitors put faces to the product and learnt about the venison supply chain, from farm to plant to market. The five journalists are food and wine writers and the group also included a television crew who are producing a 12 minute lifestyle feature on NZ venison to be shown to nation-wide on Germany’s Kabel 1 station.

They asked us why Germany should import NZ venison and our answer is that they should want to because of the taste, tenderness of our venison.  Germany isn’t  self-sufficient in food, so they should be importing good food from trustworthy sources, Moffat said.

“While the trend towards local and seasonal sourcing is very strong in Germany at present – a chef needs to put quality and consistency first – and New Zealand can provide that assurance.

The chefs were hosted by 12 restaurants, where they learned how to prepare venison from New Zealand’s best. Meredith’s, Clooney Restaurant, The Grill, Dine by Peter Gordon , Depot in Auckland, Logan Brown, Hippopotamus, The White House, and Martin Bosley’s Yacht Club in Wellington, Blanket Bay, True South Dining Room, and Rata in Queenstown all hosted  a chef for several days. The four chefs won their selection to the NZ Venison Young Chef Exchange by producing a stand-out recipe using NZ venison, and being recommended by their German employer.  There were 60 entries for the 20-day trip, sponsored by DINZ. On their return to Germany they will pass on their experiences with venison at cooking schools and the German press – a series of interviews are currently being arranged.

“They said they had a wonderful trip, one of the best experiences of their lives, so we expect them to be enthusiastic about New Zealand,” Moffat said.

The initiative is part of  the NZ deer industry’s  aim to position NZ venison as premium and to extend its consumption outside the traditional European game season. Four chefs from Belgium toured NZ in January and future visits are also being planned as well.

Autumn 2013 Newsletter

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Click here to read our Autumn 2013 Newsletter