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Dinner at Giulio Sturla's Mapu Test Kitchen Lyttelton

Our host, Chef Giulio Sturla at Mapu. This is his test kitchen for only 6 guests, in Lyttelton.

A crisp wafer of chickpea and tapioca, tofu cream, fine flavours of local flowers including borage, coriander.

Champagne Franck Bonville, Blanc de Blanc 2020. A grower champagne from the Grand Cru villages of Avize, Oger, Cramant.

Giulio introduces a classic from his homeland, Cheese puffs with the local influence of Barrys Bay cheddar, aged for 2 years, cured duck leg jamon paired with Knebel Riesling from Uhlen, Mosel 2013 with aromas of toasted almonds, quince.

Giulio smokes the asparagus outside on the barbecue.

Shaved Smoked asparagus, Sturgeon caviar, freshly crushed pinenut milk garnished with peas, Douglas fir pine needles.

Noodles crafted from green bananas (no flour or eggs), crayfish, roasted onions sauce, chive oil.

Domaine Michel Lafarge Meursault 2020 was paired with this dish.

Giulio’s garlic from his garden, fermented til black, served with corn miso, crispy silverbeet, wild parsley oil.

Domaine Guiberteau Clos de Guichaux 2020 (Chenin Blanc), Saumur AOC.

Giulio plates the Turbot.

Turbot, spinach mole, yellow kiwi.

Giulio chose venison and local mushrooms for the next course.

Grilled venison loin, local oyster mushrooms, cured white truffle, lemon thyme oil.

The venison was paired with Millton Clos de Ste Anne Pinot Noir, 2020, Gisborne.

Giulio plates the first dessert.

Pickled blueberries,fermented golden berries, fresh raspberries, tomato water, fig leaf oil.

Chateau Rieussec Sauternes AOC 2013, Grand Cru Classe. Ripe tangerines, apricots, dazzling.

Lemon verbena, lemonade curd, cherries, plum gnocchi, sorrel ice, rhubarb ice.


For Giulio, with his cooking, he is looking for local ingredients that are harvested at the peak of their flavour. Giulio preservers many ingredients for later, using a variety of techniques: dehyrdation, use of syrups, fermentation, pickling and more.


We tasted an authentic menu of pure, vibrant flavours, not dominated by butter or cream and created by a very talented chef.



What a great experience.

Celia Hay

30 December 2023







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Celia Hay

Celia is a qualified chef and holds the WSET (London) Diploma of Wine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Education (Distinction) and MBA Master of Business Administration from the University of Canterbury.

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The School

Founded by Celia Hay, the New Zealand School of Food and Wine opened its first campus in Christchurch in 1995.

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