Fresh, organic and seasonal produce sourced from the historic Hawkesbury region.
Amara (West African for “grace”) celebrates the grace of nature in alluring bushland surrounds by combining local produce and sustainable on-site practices.
Every day the Amara team creates a menu for inhouse guests, affectionately called the ‘chef’s harvest experience’, because it’s based on the freshest organic and seasonal meat, cheese and hero produce available within 100km (or one-hour drive) of Sangoma among the historic and highly fertile Hawkesbury region.
Houia’s food philosophy embodies a simple, ultimately natural approach to cooking, preferring traditional cooking techniques with charcoal and fire over gas and electricity, and the use of controlled dehydration to prepare fruit and veggies, as well as indigenous ingredients to add subtle layers of flavour.
Chef Will Houia has honed a fierce respect for local, organic and sustainable produce through a 14-year career that has led him into some of the world’s best kitchens.
Kiwi-born Houia was classically trained in Auckland before arriving in Australia and joining executive chef Ash Martin and the team at Queensland’s hatted Homage restaurant at Spicers Hidden Vale.
It was Homage, where most of the menu is locally sourced or grown on the property, that amplified the young chef’s passion for farm-to-table fine dining. He was named as a finalist in the prestigious Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year Award during his time at Homage.
After three years there Houia joined Christian Puglisi’s acclaimed Relæ in Copenhagen, a Michelin-starred restaurant that has featured on multiple top 100 in the world lists.
From Denmark, he ventured back to New Zealand and worked at the progressive and plant-centric three-hatted Roots Restaurant, Lyttleton, under Giulio Sturla and also with Ed Verner at Auckland’s tiny and inventive Pasture, another of New Zealand’s three-hat set.
Houia cites family as the other important thing in his life and his food philosophy embodies a simple, organic, sustainable and ultimately natural approach to cooking … with an emphasis on deliciousness. Always.