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Saggio restaurant owners retiring after 25 years

article by Make Lemonade NZ


Christchurch – After 25 years, the owners of one of Christchurch’s most prominent upmarket restaurants, Saggio di vino, are retiring.

Saggio di vino owners Lisa Scholz and Yommi Pawelke are putting up their feet after first opening the Victoria Street restaurant in 1991. The stylish restaurant is considered a landmark institution and a quintessential Christchurch, South Island and New Zealand dining experience. Scholz says they reluctantly retire on July 4 with previous chef David Benjamin taking over the business.

“The highlights are when the people who have come through the door enjoy the food, wine, ambience and themselves. Many famous New Zealand entertainment, sporting and political household names have dined here along with overseasstars but we do not want to name them.

“We have loved everything about Saggio’s but it is a sense of relief that we officially retire in a few weeks. We feel that we’re not leaving a business, but our family behind.

“Over the years we have had the pleasure of working with many incredibly talented people and we are delighted to be handing the restaurant over to one of them. Yommi and I are confident that David, the new chef-owner, supported by the existing team, will do us and the Saggio di vino name proud.

“David’s accolades include internships at The Berkeley Hotel under Marcus Wareing and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London. We have no doubt that David will inject new energy into Saggio di vino and the Christchurch dining scene,” says Scholz who is a qualified chef and hotel and restaurant manager and has worked in the industry for more than 50 years.

Saggios has won so many best restaurant and wine awards that Scholz cannot remember just how many. But they won the UK Decanter magazine’s best wine by the glass list for all Australasia, about 10 US Wine Spectator magazine awards of excellence plus best award of excellence since 2000 and made the Cuisine magazine’s best restaurant award finals many times and have earned Cuisine’s good food guide 1 Hat distinction.

For further information contact Lisa Scholz on 021660356 or Yommi Pawelke on 021 458628 or Make Lemonade media special Kip Brook on 0275 030188

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