Plume Restaurant is the ultimate dining destination. Nestled into the idyllic wine country of Matakana, you will find a culinary genius heading up the kitchen – Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chef, BJ Sebastian.

Unlike most chefs who rely on meticulously planned recipes and ingredient lists, BJ’s culinary journey begins with a vision of the flavours he wishes to showcase. He doesn’t let ingredients dictate his creativity, instead he lets the essence of fermentation guide him.

Through his Ambassador Series dinner, BJ was able to showcase his skill using New Zealand beef lamb which offered the perfect canvas for his imagination. Through fermentation, BJ explores new and exciting flavour pathways, transforming familiar meat cuts into extraordinary gastronomic delights for his guests.

For chef BJ Sebastian, fermentation is a key process in creating his dishes. It is more than a cooking technique; it is an alchemical process that unlocks the very essence of umami. BJ has mastered the art of transforming seasonal ingredients through fermentation and pickling, creating a symphony of flavours that awakens the palate all year round.

Arriving early at Plume Restaurant, the intriguing sight of BJ’s fermentation jars immediately caught our attention. You could be forgiven for thinking you had stepped into a science laboratory, but their presence served a more delicious purpose – they were an integral part of BJ’s flavour making process. BJ pointed out that having them on display creates a great talking point with guests and he often takes the time to come out of the kitchen and proudly explain the fermentation process and how it contributes to the unique flavours on his menu.