Meet Executive Chef, Trent Watson

Trent Watson originally joined our kitchen back in 2016, having spent his career travelling as a chef to the stars, and working honing his craft in a variety of international kitchens.

Heading up the kitchen in our sister venue, No5 Church Lane, Trent has returned as Executive Chef working across all venues to help implement new seasonal menus and take The Grille from strength to strength in a post-Covid Queenstown.

He believes in keeping things simple and elegant at The Grille with fantastic cuts of the highest quality meats, paired with exceptional wines. He has recently brought back our full evening menu, including a new ‘Butcher’s Board’ dedicated to showcasing the best and most interesting cuts available.

From date nights, celebrations, or a quiet family dinner, ‘That is what is important here. Providing something comforting for everyone, and yet still offering excitement’ says Trent.

  • What styles of cuisine are you focusing on for your spring menu?

I want to offer something that makes you want to open up our sliding doors onto Lake Wakatipu and bask in the sunshine. We have a new rotating butcher’s board, and I will be handpicking the best of local produce to try. Anything from Central Otago lamb to Fiordland crayfish.

  • Tell us about your commitment to local produce and why that is an important part of your food philosophy?

Local and seasonal is always best. It is a way to show people where I come from and show the pride I have in my country.

And it is not just the local meats I am a huge fan of. ‘Welcome Rock Gardens’ are a firm favourite, who offer spray free produce, and of course the stone fruit out of Cromwell is world class and always interesting to cook with.

  • What are some of your favourite foods on the menu at The Grille

Definitely the crispy cod wings with jalapeno relish. They are generally considered as wastage but are such a delicious piece to work with. I really enjoy giving this cut a new lease of life.

The Grille by Eichardt's

The Grille by Eichardt's is Queenstown’s premier dining destination. With a vibrant and stylish setting, it offers an outstanding menu that showcases the unique tastes of the region where the bounty of Central Otago and Southland awaits.