Sean is QT Auckland’s new Creative Director of Food and Beverage and he says the QT brand resonates with his personal journey as a chef. “I’ve long had my eye on QT. Pioneers in breaking down the stigma of ‘hotel restaurants’, QT is a champion for amazing quality and luxury while celebrating individuality. Seeking creative freedom, there was no better fit for me to take my career to the next level while expressing my own personal style and joining a renowned stable of culinary talent.”
QT Auckland General Manager Doron Whaite echoes Sean’s enthusiasm, saying, “We’re honoured to bring Sean’s culinary talents and down-to-earth philosophy into the QT fold. His international experience coupled with his knowledge and passion for Auckland’s local market will set Esther apart from anything else in the city. We’re also thrilled to pair our strong culinary offering with the talented Roberto Giampaolo as Bar Manager at Rooftop at QT.”
The Rooftop at QT in Auckland is a destination perched high in the sky with an expanse of views and it will offer quirky drink lists and chef-curated menus. It promises a “luxuriously quirky escape that reflects its home city and harbourside locale”.
True to the QT Hotels philosophy, QT Auckland will also feature a highly creative food and beverage experience, combining locally-sourced ingredients with design-led interiors and signature service across all outlets.
Welcome home, Esther
With the warm embrace of humble tradition, QT Auckland’s signature restaurant Esther, brings the authentic tastes of the Mediterranean’s sun-soaked shores to the Viaduct. The sophisticated European-style bistro will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With 98 indoor seats, the light and airy space will include a 21-seat indoor bar and an al fresco dining option, with 16 outdoor seats catching the fresh salty air of the marina.
Esther’s menu is inspired by Sean’s travels chasing food of the sun, using flavours and spices from Sicily to Southern France to Morocco. The approachable and sustainable menu features local produce and daily-caught seafood, with many items served by trolley service – think tableside salt-crusted fish, salads and desserts – for a touch of theatrics.
On the inspiration for Esther, Sean says, “When designing Esther, we envisioned a feminine design and wanted to personify it. Esther embodies a lively spirit, a feminine presence and modern traveller skipping around the Mediterranean gathering flavours as she goes.”
Sean has been working closely with QT Auckland’s appointed Executive Chef James Laird to bring Esther’s menu to life. Joining forces with the QT team and QT collaborator and designer Nic Graham, the team has worked together on everything from a hero art installation, to crockery, and the exact colour of a custom French oven.
Sweeping views from Rooftop at QT
Perched on the sixth floor of QT Auckland’s new Viaduct playground is the Rooftop at QT, boasting panoramic views across the harbour and superyachts that call the marina home.
Led by Bar Manager Roberto Giampaolo, Rooftop at QT will feature an extensive cocktail menu which will complement a sophisticated local wine list. Taking cues from Esther’s wanderlust-inspired cuisine, Sean’s Mediterranean tapas menu will seamlessly transition from evening to late night fare.
The elevated setting is primed to perfection by the background beats of QT sound specialists and well-known guest DJs. With a capacity of 200, the design-driven space will feature indoor-outdoor flow and lounge-style seating, with intimate tables for two and open areas to unwind with friends.
Esther and Rooftop at QT are set to open their doors in November, in line with the hotel launch. With stays bookable from early November, guests can expect public spaces bursting with local artwork and private function spaces steps from the water.
QT Auckland is being developed in partnership with Russell Property Group and Lockwood Property Group. Located at 4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, QT Auckland will be the tenth QT Hotel and the third in New Zealand, joining QT Wellington and QT Queenstown.