Jerry Graves, at top Mount eatery Flour + Water, keeps the locals coming back for more.
“I’m a firm believer that the foundations of a small town are built on locals supporting locals. The product is always superior from local artisans. They are less inclined to be motivated by money, and more inclined to produce something great, and work with people who care about their product, too.”
Jerry Graves, owner-operator at Flour + Water in The Mount’s busy main street, really cares. In fact, his ethos extends beyond food. The cashmere-soft pile of charcoal blankets to keep knees warm whilst dining al fresco on autumn evenings are from his neighbours, homeware store, Été.
And the food. Is. Amazing. When we interviewed Jerry, he was pretty humble and got embarrassed when we started raving about it. “We just want to make people happy.” He clearly does.
It’s all rather modest from a kitchen with such vast experience. Jerry has run restaurants in Taupo and Auckland, cooked all through Europe for years, and come back to settle at The Mount with his trademark enthusiasm and youthful exuberance.
“As soon as I bought Flour + Water last year, I persuaded Adam Williams to come and cook for me. He’s phenomenal. Young chefs who train in Britain are so incredibly disciplined, and it really shows in the quality of their cooking. Adam has worked 16-hour days all his working life. His focus and knowledge of food is hard to match.”
It’s clear that the love goes both ways. As we left, Flour + Water was filling up with plenty of familiar faces.
Local winemakers Volcanic Hills and Steve Bird are on our wine list, and we get a beautiful range of top-end spirits from Bethlehem couple Claire and Aidan Dennis, owners of Federal Merchants & Co.
Our meat comes from Doug Jarvis in Papamoa. You only have to visit his shop to see the passion and pride in his butchery.
Mr Bean Cuisine Vegetables from Omokoroa is a classic micro-supplier; everything’s organic and fresh out of the ground. At the moment, we are loving his yellow zucchinis, heirloom tomatoes, limes, lemons and butter beans.
103 Maunganui Rd
Monday — Friday 4pm till late
Saturday — Sunday 12pm till late