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EST. 1949

Dariush Lolaiy

We’re lucky enough to have a supplier that we’ve had a relationship with for 28 years - (his father).

Tell us what you do in 50 words or less.

I am the chef and co-owner of Cazador. Cazador is an old Auckland restaurant that specialises in serving wild food. My parents started Cazador in 1987, my wife Rebecca and I have been running it since we returned to New Zealand about four years ago.

Why was it important to carry on from what your parents had created at Cazador?

Legacy is pretty unique in New Zealand, so it’s special to have a restaurant in its second generation. I grew up in this place, me and Bex met here when I was a dishwasher and she was waiting tables. It’s part of our lives, part of our family and part of the neighborhood – it’s just what we do.

Tell us about your favourite cut.

Hare saddle, roast on the bone, barely cooked. Served rare, the meat has an amazing texture and colour - a gorgoeus deep purple. The flavour is rich and earthy, slightly game-y, but still delicate. I like to use this cut when introducing somebody to wild food. It’s not what people expect of game meat. Hare is lean and flavourful but not stodgy or ‘game-y’.

What was the last thing you cooked and where does it come from?

The last thing I cooked was a whole shoulder of venison. It had been aged in my chiller for two weeks, and had developed a perfect level of intensity. I braised it with sherry, leeks, mushrooms and pancetta for Sunday dinner with my in-laws. 

I shot that deer up by Parakai. It’s a special thing to be out in the bush at the break of day, smelling and feeling the season. Being a part of the whole process from stalking the deer, to shooting, cleaning, aging, butchering and finally cooking. This builds a deep respect for the animal that is often missing from cooking these days.

What was the last thing you bought from Gubb & Mackie and why did you choose it?

I bought the Britten jacket in navy wool. It’s a straight forward jacket, with a lovely drill texture. I chose it because it looks great with a shirt and trousers, but doesn’t look out of place when I wear it with jeans and boots – which is pretty much all I ever wear.