Introducing Debbie Crompton


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Aurum Wines has worked in collaboration with Debbie to create a number of recipes to complement our wines and to showcase the beautiful foods that Central Otago produces.
Debbie Crompton is a local identity in the Southern Lakes and Central Otago. She has won numerous awards including South Island Restaurant of the Year, and has been quoted as one of New Zealand’s most talented female chefs. Her career has taken her around the world including France, Italy, Portugal, Japan, the Middle East and the United Kingdom. Debbie was Executive Chef at the renowned Millbrook Resort before joining Rex Morgan as his Chef de Cuisine at The Spire Luxury Hotel, which specialized in Fine Dining set menus known as Degustation. Debbie and Rex created ten course menus with each course perfectly matched to wine.
Debbie is the Chef at Punatapu Lodge, where she teaches at “Ki Tao” Cooking School. These classes are demonstrations of local ingredients and specialty regional products, for example wild thyme, Merino lamb and great Pinot Noir! She is very passionate about showcasing what is available in our area, particularly products which are carefully grown by enthusiastic small business people who have enormous pride in their work.
Debbie also runs seasonal cooking classes and demonstrations in Central Otago, teaming up with Aurum Wines and Provisions of Cromwell, incorporating wine and products into her classes to showcase the best of Central Otago. Debbie has enjoyed mentoring young people throughout her past and present roles, so her most recent position as Cooking Lecturer at Cromwell Polytechnic has been a natural progression. She has begun a yearly “Autumn Harvest Market Day” – a new initiative which has students harvesting fruit, nuts and vegetables from the school’s own orchards, and then classes are taught on baking, preserving and bottling.