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Mary Holloway - Owner, Manager, Chef (and much, much more!)

Many of our guests already know Mary - and come to dine with us because she is the name and face behind the Cafe.  If you don't know Mary yet, pay us a visit and you soon will!    

Mary grew up in the countryside of North Canterbury.  As part of a large family living in a 19th century farmhouse, the daily routine was very much focussed around the kitchen and wood fired cooker: bread making, pickling, preserving and putting-by for the winter.  Summer, spring and autumn were seasons to garden and gather the abundant produce that either grew wild, or was farmed around the plains, plantations and paddocks of the district.

As a chef, Mary has created fresh, innovative and distinctive menus often in small country restaurants and wineries. These menus always reflect the produce of the surrounding area, and Mary's passion for gathering wild herbs, berries and fruits. She has networked with local artisans, farmers and growers, embracing the principles of the 'Slow Food' movement - a network of artisans, farmers, chefs and foodies all over the planet, who seek to nourish with diversity, recognising the variety of places where food is produced and the people who produce it, respecting the rhythm of the seasons, traditional practices and sustainable agriculture. Through sharing this awareness of the gifts we are offered from the earth and the processes involved in getting them from paddock to plate, Mary teaches respect for the environment and the community with which we share it.  

The menus which have been created from this, together with a gift for combining and creating flavour have won her regional and national awards.  She has written for magazines and appeared as a television chef.

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