No, it's not the coffee* that's just her.
50-50 owner and chef Helen Turnbull talks, moves and chops faster than your average chef.
Then again, average doesn’t apply to her culinary past, present or future** in any way.
Today is never just another day for Helen; it also marks a day where she thinks about food,
where it comes from and how it can take you back in time or launch you into another world.
After a decade away, she returned home to Wellington to share her international culinary experience.
She quickly garnered a following for her ever-evolving cuisine.
Being awarded Best Emerging Chef at the Capital Awards in 2014 and hosting sell-out events during the
annual Wellington On A Plate festival have helped to put her on the map in recent years.
For Helen, it wasn't all that long ago that she was shedding blood, sweat, and tears as an apprentice at Te Papa’s icon restaurant.
Since then, she has toiled in Tokyo with Japanese chefs, beaten the best British talent, met the demanding standards of
Gordon Ramsay, been coaxed back home by Sir Michael Hill and opened Josh Emett’s Rata Restaurant in Queenstown.
Unsurprisingly, she puts her heart and soul into every plate and, just as importantly,
her voice into the songs she sings while making said plates.
Her connection to food starts with respect for the raw product and an understanding of the possibilities that arise from there.
This means that at 50-50, meeting Helen in her open kitchen is only part of the journey.
It’s when you have completed her 12-course menu that you’ll have truly arrived.
* Kapiti Coffee - available at 50-50
** While the future is yet to arrive, fingers crossed we're right
Finders Eaters is the passion project of local Mike King. Mike supplies 50-50 with native and exotic ingredients that are all foraged locally. The beautifully shot day in the life of Mike was created by filmmaker Reece Baker and also features my musings on the importance of food and community.