Cabinet Makers

In the days after lockdown, Cazador’s Rebecca Smidt and Dariush Lolaiy opened a delicatessen from a space that used to be their private dining room.

Cabinet Makers

In the days after lockdown, Cazador’s Rebecca Smidt and Dariush Lolaiy opened a delicatessen from a space that used to be their private dining room.

The idea of a deli has been in the works for years, but we’d never committed to it. We decided last year we had to take on a new challenge, and 2020 would be the year. (Lol.)

We looked all over for a site we really liked, and then wound up back here at Cazador. We've lost our private dining room, but gained a much more intimate and functional restaurant, as well as the new deli. It also makes sense to have all our prep, charcuterie production and cooking on-site. 

As it turns out, we’re so grateful we have just one rent and one site to manage now, and we've been able to spread our team over both sides (restaurant and deli) and not lose anyone through Covid, which has been a huge relief.

Designing the place was an in-house job. We worked closely with Tim Soloman from Slow Hand and our builder Matt Nicholls from Ryse Construction. We wanted to honour the history of the restaurant, but create a distinct space that works on its own. Many of the materials cross over – the new dining tables and chairs in the restaurant are made from the same rich walnut as the deli cabinetry, but the tiles are a fresh colour and texture to mark the new space. The 1970s arches stay.

Dariush's dad always had charcuterie on the menu as an extension of his in-house butchery practice, using the whole animal, so it's part of the legacy of Cazador, but over the past five years it's really become a focus for Dariush. It's a creative outlet – he's able to use traditional Spanish and Italian techniques, and also experiment with new profiles, like his gochujang coppa. And believe it or not, it has always been his dream to make sandwiches. Simple pleasures.

Cazador
854 Dominion Road, Maungawhau, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
cazador.co.nz

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