New dining team at Peninsula Hot Springs

Peninsula Hot Springs has matched its recent Spa Dreaming Centre café upgrades and enhancements with the appointment of a highly experienced and qualified chef and manager for its food and beverage team.

July saw the opening of Spa Dreaming Centre Café premium renovations, along with tripling of the relaxation room. Café upgrades included interior design touches along with a larger deck area, now suitable for private bookings of 110 people for a cocktail function, or 70 seated guests. Chef Andy Greenlees started cooking 17 years ago, training for Michelin Star chef Adam Newall from London in his Zibibbo restaurant in Wellington, New Zealand. Since coming to Australia in 2004, Andy has been Chef at the Portsea Hotel for seven years, along with work at Moonah Links and various other food destinations.

Andy has embraced the move to creative, healthy and fresh spa food in the relaxed atmospherics of the Spa Dreaming Centre. Contented smiles are great reward for the chef: “I enjoy working in the calmer environment, people are in a relaxed state before they’re dining here and they’re grateful for and receptive of health-inspired food that looks vibrant on the plate – they’re in a great frame of mind”.

Food and Beverage manager Justin Hunter started at 17 in hospitality, and has since worked right up the east coast of Australia, the Victorian ski fields and in Mornington Peninsula favourite food destinations such as the Portsea Hotel, Rubira’s in Sorrento, Stringers Cafe, Loquat and six years at RACV Cape Schanck.

“Just as Andy endeavours to showcase peninsula produce in as much of his food as possible, front of house we take what is an icon tourism destination role seriously too,” Justin said. “We have a great mix of vibrant, attentive and accommodating staff with healthy and engaging personalities – all ambassadors for the region.”

“There is also a good understanding of the local wine industry among our staff, we’re happy to talk wine with anyone who’s interested and we happily recommend peninsula vineyards to visit matching the particular styles guests like. I’m currently introducing a few more peninsula wines to match Andy’s summer seasonal menu, further showcasing the region.”

“We put food on the plate that best reflects the hot springs experience, a healthy meal with a substance to it. There is an expectation among our guests of light, fresh and healthy dining, with special dietary requirements easily met.”

Among the Summer menu items which reflect the influence of Andy and Justin is the crispy skinned atlantic salmon on warmed black rice salad with a prawn and mango salsa, served with a glass of Foxeys sparkling.

Also featuring on Andy’s summer menu are Dromana bay mussels with garlic, chilli, tomato and lime broth, tossed with fresh herbs.

Other regional summer menu ingredients include cherries from Red HIll, strawberries from Sunnyridge, Main Ridge olives and olive oil, goats curd from Main Ridge and local beverages including Red HIll Golden Ale, MP Brewery Pale Ale, Cheeky Rascal Strawberry and Apple Cider from Sunnyridge, and Crittenden’s wines.

Bookings for the Spa Dreaming Centre Cafe can be made on 5950 8777. The Café is open 7 days for breakfast and lunch, with Dine &  Bathe package options available Friday and Saturday night, Lunch&  Bathe packages available every day, Pasta&  Bathe package available on Tuesday evenings. All dine and Bathe options are available as Gift Certificates online .

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