Experience Meets Experimentation: Chef Francky Godinho Celebrates His Life's Work

. October 20, 2015
Photography by Richard Brimer.
Experience Meets Experimentation: Chef Francky Godinho Celebrates His Life's Work

With a wealth of experience behind him, Francky Godinho of St George's Restaurant is set to spice up the Hawkes Bay as he hosts a series of sought-after events during F.A.W.C's Summer Series.

While Francky Godinho is about to celebrate 20 years as a chef, fans of the Hawkes Bay’s St George’s Restaurant will know he’s never been one to get stuck in his ways. The award-winning chef says the Summer F.A.W.C events he’s set to host will focus on experimentation, authenticity and will showcase the stunning produce that comes straight from his vast working garden.

The four delicious events vary from a courtyard barbecue, to an authentic Goan feast prepared with the help of his family, to a wine-matched brunch at Osawa winery as well as ‘Francky’s Table’. He’s also planned a celebratory degustation exploring his expansive career as a chef, which has taken him from Goa to train in Dubai and India, before working in London, Auckland, and now, the Hawkes Bay.

“Francky’s Table is a five-course degustation menu at St George’s with just 12 guests, it will be a really intimate event,” Francky explains. “The food will be really something. We’re going to do something really different; it’ll be very high-caliber food and service. It’s an opportunity for people to learn about the food, the journey and the philosophy of St. George’s.”

Guests will roam Francky’s lush and incredibly productive garden with him to gather ingredients, asking any questions they have along the way.

“All year round we grow 90% of our produce,” Francky says. “It will be an opportunity for guests to see our on-site working garden – we have another one off-site and a third one coming, so we’re going to be able to grow produce in its thousands: five or six varieties of pumpkins and all sorts. I think it will be the largest, most bio-diverse garden in the North Island. We’re talking about 1500 leeks, 400 cauliflower, 50, 60, 70 kilos of beetroot at a time.”

Francky Godinho

A leisurely picturesque brunch at Osawa Winery is a chance for Francky to showcase the relationship St George’s has with the vineyard, which he loves for their commitment to consistently high standards.

“We’re doing three courses, taking the brunch menu and matching it with Osawa wines. We’ve been using Osawa wine from the Hawkes Bay for almost three years now, so we decided to go out there with 24 guests to do something really explosive.”

Summer in Hawkes Bay wouldn’t be complete without a series of outdoor gatherings, so St George’s is also set to host a barbecue in their gorgeous courtyard, serving up top quality meat and “stunning” local produce beside a roaring fire, as the sun sets.

“St George’s courtyard has been quite famous for a long time but it’s been rebuilt, so we thought we’d use this opportunity to display the Hawkes Bay weather and their love for outdoor living,“ Francky says.

One of the most unique events on F.A.W.C’s calendar is sure to be Francky’s ‘Family Affair’ which will see his brother and mother join him in the kitchen to create an exquisite series of courses based on their Goan heritage.

“Goan food is really different to anything else in the world. I just went home recently to bring back some ingredients,” Francky says. “It will be a seven-course dinner and some of the spices will be pretty different, really authentic. It will have the wow-factor, but it will also have a little bit of a soft touch to compliment the Kiwi palette,” he laughs.

“We’ll be using masala that my sister blended for me and some baby mangoes pickled the way we do at home. It’s all about family and showing what our Goan heritage means.”

Francky's events have been incredibly popular – you can find tickets to his barbecue by clicking here and to Family Affair by clicking here. Hawkes Bay’s Food and Wine Classic Summer Series runs from the 6th to the 15th of November. To find out more about the many exciting events on offer, head to F.A.W.C’s websiteclick here to peruse their programme or keep up to date by following their Facebook page.