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.

 

FLOURANDWATEREATERY.COM

103 Maun­ganui Rd

Mt Maun­ganui

Open­ing hours:

Mon­day — Fri­day 4pm till late

Sat­ur­day — Sun­day 12pm till late