Champagne house Louis Roederer has a long and highly revered reputation for achieving their quest for true excellence, harvest after harvest. The patience, skill and absolute passion required to create fine Champagne consistently at this level is rare.
Ben Longhurst, Louis Roederer Wine Ambassador
Louis Roederer’s New Zealand ambassador, French-born Ben Longhurst, was destined for this role as the third generation of his family to become involved in the wine business. Ben will host an amazing Huka Lodge dinner celebrating Champagne.
A native of France, Ben is the third generation of his family to be involved in the wine business having followed in the footsteps of his English grandfather who was a wine merchant in London and his father who moved to Bordeaux in 1963 to work for a wine negociant there. After a long stint at Chateau Loudenne in the Medoc, Ben’s father relocated the family to Cognac in 1982 where he took on the new job of managing the export sales of Hennessy Cognac to the United States.
Ben was raised among the vines so a career path starting with studying wine business was an obvious choice and Ben soon gained a Wine Business Degree from Bordeaux University. He entered the hospitality trade in Paris working in luxury hotels and trendy Parisian restaurants and bars, finishing up at the prominent wine shop Les Caves de la Transa, where he worked for three years, in Paris' 15th arrondissement.
Following a Kiwi girl, Ben moved to New Zealand in 2004 and started work at Glengarry where he quickly became their Fine Wine consultant. In 2007 he started work with Eurovintage, New Zealand’s largest independent wine importer and distributor and representatives of Louis Roederer Champagne. In 2014 Ben was appointed the company's Wine Ambassador and in the same year was named Outstanding Sales Representative at the hospitality industry’s Lewisham Awards.
Enhancing a stellar line up of Louis Roederer Champagne will be a series of dishes created by Guest Chef, Clayton Wells, from Automata Sydney.
Guest Chef, Clayton Wells
Clayton has always held a great passion for food and has pursued a career that has seen him working alongside some of the world’s top chefs. In Australia, Clayton was Chef De Partie at Quay, with Peter Gilmore’s brigade and also at Tetsuya, as a Junior Sous Chef.
In 2009, Clayton moved to Europe seeking still more experience and after travelling and working in Scandinavia he moved to London. Here, Clayton took the role of Senior Sous Chef with Nuno Mendes, for the opening of Michelin-starred Viagante. While at Viagante, Clayton met fellow chef, Loh Lik Peng, starting of a long friendship that eventually led to them opening Automata, in Sydney.
In 2011, Clayton returned to Australia to open David Chang’s first Momofuku restaurant outside of New York, with Ben Greeno. Clayton was Sous Chef to Ben at Momofuku Seibobo.
Automata, Clayton’s first restaurant, opened in Sydney in 2015. It quickly established itself as one of Australia’s hottest restaurants, with Clayton named Time Out Sydney’s Chef of the Year for 2016.
This event is presented with our compliments, at no additional cost beyond the normal rate.
From NZ$845.00 + GST per person, per night (on a double/twin occupancy basis). This includes pre-dinner drinks with canapés, gourmet dinner by guest chef, Clayton Wells, with Louis Roederer Champagne, full country breakfast, with return Taupo Airport transfers, if required.
While every endeavour will be made to follow this programme of ‘Events’ in the order and form in which it is currently published, there could be last-minute changes due to circumstances beyond our control.