Homes to Love caught up with Odette’s co-owner Clare van Den Berg to ask her about the development of this beautiful eatery
Restaurant owners Clare van Den Berg and her partner Joost chose the creative hub of CityWorks Depot in Auckland to be the home for their next culinary adventure Odette’s Eatery. They collaborated with Nat Cheshire and the team at Cheshire Architects to create a warm, beautiful and easy-going interior in the depot’s lovely late-1960s industrial buildings.
We wanted the space to feel really calmhomely and understated
Clare, you and your husband Joost previously owned Zus & Zo in Herne Bay and you still own Zomer in Takapuna. What prompted the move to open Odette’s Eatery at CityWorks Depot?
Clare van Den Berg We always wanted to open something in town but just wanted to find the right spot. Joost was determined and looked for a space for three years. CityWorks appealed because we really love the creativity of it, how they’re forming the precinct. And we love the space. With the eatery, we wanted to do something different that was going to challenge us, to create a real city place where people can come for breakfast, lunch and dinner and treat it like their communal space. Our breakfast menu is a little like what we’ve done before, but we also have a wood fire as the centrepiece of what our chef, Josh Kucharick, is cooking, which includes dishes such as slow-braised merino lamb shoulder, wild mushrooms with donuts made out of mushroom flour, and an ancient grain bircher for breakfast of quinoa, wild rice, oats and other gluten-free grains. Josh has lived in many places and we’ve developed the menu around his journey. There’s lots of variety – world flavours that pick up on where he has lived.
We wanted to create a real city placethat people could treat as their communal space
How did you decide what to do with the interiors?
Clare We spoke to Nat Cheshire and his team quite early on and they mentored me along the way – I’ve known him for a long time. We love the industrial feel of CityWorks but we wanted it to be able to feel a bit softer. We wanted the space to feel really calm, homely and understated, with cooling colours and lots of texture in the timber, tiles and cushions. We have Cheshire Architects’ ‘Parison’ pendant lights [winner of the 2014 Design Awards] and chairs by Simon James – working with New Zealand designers was important for us. The ceilings are really high, and the room is big, but I didn’t want it to feel huge, like you walk into the space and see a sea of tables. We wanted it to feel intimate and cosy, like everyone has their own little nook. The acoustics are great, too. I think people feel comfortable here.
I think people feelcomfortable here
Shed 5, CityWorks Depot
90 Wellesley Street, Auckland
09 309 0304
Photos by: Simon Wilson.