At Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat

To dine at Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat is to savour the tastes of nature.

Step into an uncomplicated world where food is real, the soil, air and water are pure and your dining experience is designed to honour those elements to the fullest.

The Retreat’s cuisine is rooted in what comes from our large vegetable garden and the local suppliers of our region. Guests have described their dining experience here as “foodie heaven.” Our cuisine playfully wanders the line between refined and rugged, borrowing from both fine dining and simple whole foods defined by freshness and the natural seasons.

Explore the foodie happenings around the Retreat, roll up your sleeves to participate, or just observe and enjoy time in the Retreat’s idyllic garden or bustling kitchen with our chef. All dietary preferences and requirements can be accommodated.

A warm welcome is also extended to guests not staying at the Retreat who wish to reserve a private dining experience at Moraine Lodge for your group of 4+ people. Bookings are essential and can be made by contacting reservations@mtcookretreat.nz 


One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

Garden to Plate

At the Retreat, we love the garden and the pleasure we get from providing fresh organic ingredients for you. The garden is packed with berries, herbs and vegetables of all kinds, all with a forgotten taste that evokes the freedom of childhood.

What’s important to us is the authenticity and pureness of the food we serve, and we use local suppliers for things we cannot produce here, such as free range eggs, manuka honey, juices, apricots and cherries.

Our Culinary Team

Our wonderful culinary team of chefs Tom and Rafa are at the core of the exceptional dining experience we offer to our guests.

Chef Tom has been a professional chef for more than 20 years, and has worked around the world in exciting and innovative restaurants before returning home to New Zealand.

“Working at the Retreat is what I consider to be my dream job,” he said. “I get to cook the best quality local ingredients paired with produce grown on site in our organic veggie garden. We pride ourselves on the garden-to-plate philosophy, cooking from scratch and letting the seasons dictate the menu.”

Chef Rafa, who traveled to New Zealand from Brazil, said cooking is about love and happiness and conveying those feelings through the care taken to prepare beautiful food.

“The veggie garden is a magical place where I find inspiration to create new flavours,” Rafa said. “The chef’s life is a life of discovering, and it is where my heart feels complete.”

Everything was superb. We stayed for 3 nights and also had our wedding there….The location is breathtaking. Whether your villa looks out over the lake or the Mackenzie Basin, you will not be disappointed with the spectacular views….Outdoor hot tubs also with outrageous views! The food was outrageously good – breakfast was tasty and filling, but the evening meals took my breath away. All freshly prepared and locally sourced….Luke and Kaye have made such a fantastic place, and are very hands on, Anna organised everything for us and made sure our wedding – and the rest of our stay – went smoothly. Nothing was too much trouble. The other staff were friendly and helpful without being intrusive, and Tom is a very gifted chef who is also very friendly and happy to chat about the food, but also to accommodate any special needs or requests. Our children have a cows milk protein allergy, but were still able to eat like royalty. Finally, try the stargazing in the wine cellar. Unbelievable.

Martin W. 
Martin W.