NEW ZEALAND’S FIRST VEGAN CERTIFIED RESTAURANT

Heritage Auckland’s Hectors Restaurant has become New Zealand’s first restaurant to achieve Vegan Certification by the New Zealand Vegetarian Society.

Obtaining the certification involved thorough and extensive research into all the details of the supplier’s ingredients. Executive Chef Gerrard O’Keefe, who created the menu, said the process required an in-depth look into the origin of all the products, and anything that they could not guarantee was vegan at every part of its production was culled. The process went as far as certifying all kitchen utensils used in the vegan menu were separate from those used in the restaurant’s omnivorous menu.

“We are delighted that Hectors Restaurant has been Vegan Certified by the New Zealand Vegetarian Society. It took weeks of research to conduct a detailed examination of our suppliers’ ingredients that go into our vegan menus. The thoroughness of the New Zealand Vegetarian Society’s process proved a great discipline, and their support is hard-earned, so it’s a huge honour to be the first restaurant to achieve their accreditation,” said Gerrard O’Keefe, executive chef, Hector’s Restaurant.

Gerrard O’Keefe, executive chef at Heritage Auckland being presented Vegan Certification by Julia Clements, president of the New Zealand Vegetarian Society

Gerrard O’Keefe, executive chef at Heritage Auckland, being presented Vegan Certification by Julia Clements, president of the New Zealand Vegetarian Society.

Heritage Auckland first offered a plant-based menu in its lobby café and Hectors Restaurant in 2011 and went on to become New Zealand’s first Vegetarian Accredited restaurant by the NZ Vegetarian Society in early 2013.

“The ever-increasing demand for vegan food and products made this a good time to launch such a programme. The new certification symbol will make simple work of finding suitable products and dining experiences that are authentically vegan,” said Julia Clements, president, New Zealand Vegetarian Society.