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8 Waiheke Weekender
With Lebanses parents who owned dairies, superettes, motels and
wine shops, Andy Boston says he always seemed to have food and
wine in his veins.
His career was split between the entertainment and catering
industries, which are similar, he says, in that you often get just one
shot to produce something great -- often on a strict deadline.
Andy worked at Theatre Corporate in mid 1980s with a young
Michael Hurst and Jennifer Ward-Lealand. Those were the days
when people really appreciated live theatre and a 78-show run of
Macbeth with Michael in the lead role sold out.
In 1987 he headed to London and joined Mustard Catering --
still one of the most exclusive caterers in the UK. He worked all
around England, in palaces, castles, stately homes, at the Royal
Academy of Art, Covent Garden Opera House and the Houses of
His experiences of the royal family are both human and humble.
At a royal wedding in Bath he carried a table with Princess Diana
for her boys to eat at and he says the Queen mother and Princess
Margaret would often came into the kitchen area during a function,
looking for top ups for their gin and Scotch respectively and thank-
ing everyone profusely.
There were up to 200 staff working for Mustard and in the busy
summer season many were foreigners on a working holiday. Andy
would have to give the names of all staff -- porters, waitresses,
butlers and chefs -- to Interpol before they were cleared to enter
the royal grounds. The IRA was still active at the time and while
several of his best porters were from Northern Ireland, they were
never allowed to work any of the jobs where members of the royal
family or politicians were present.
Once you were inside however, you were left to your
own devices, says Andy, and once in Saint James palace
he had time to spare after setting up so he went explor-
ing.Andy found a large room decorated with just two
large, red thrones He went to have a sit down but they
were covered in Corgi hair so decided against it.
He says huge amounts of money were being splashed
around in London in the late 1980s and the waste was
sometimes disturbing. He watched as hundreds of whole
crayfsh tails with just one or two bites out of each were
thrown away on a launch party aboard American tobacco
millionaire Bennett Le-Bow's private yacht.
Andy returned to New Zealand secure in the knowl-
edge that no one is any better than anyone else, regard-
less of how much money they might have.
He took the position of inaugural event co-ordinator
for the frst three years of the Aotea Centre’s existence
as the frst international-standard performing arts and
In 1990, Kiri Te Kanawa came to Auckland to offcial-
ly open the Aotea Centre. She had said some time earlier
that she would never sing in New Zealand again until the
country had an international standard opera house and
everyone was on tenterhooks that she would be satisfed
with the auditorium when she performed there with the
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Andy was given the
job of showing her around the centre and says they had a nice chatty, relaxed
At a pre-arranged time (unknown to her), he told her they would take a
shortcut through the back of the auditorium and half pushed her ahead of
him through the heavy double doors and into the midst of the television crew
from This is your life.
“She turned around and looked at me with fre in her eyes and a half-
smile on her face and said very loudly 'You bastard'," he recalls.
He managed over 300 events at the centre, from Commonwealth Games
weightlifting to the 1992 National Hot Rod Association Show, with every-
thing in between.
Andy moved to Dunedin in the early 1990s and took up a position as food
and beverage manager with the Shoreline Hotel, the hotel of choice for tour-
ing international rugby and cricket teams. When he left Shoreline he started
a performance café 'Cha Cha Cha', modelled on the comedy clubs he had
seen in London. Stand-up nights were a big hit with the raucous university
crowd and Te Radar made his comic debut there at the tender age of 19.
Andy spent the latter half of the 1990s based in Melbourne as a produc-
tion manager, touring shows around Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-
Pacifc regions, which involved lots of corporate road-shows at fve-star
hotels and resorts as well as a diverse variety of big stage and arena shows.
One of the hightlights of his career was touring with the Royal Lipizzaner
stallions from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna around Australia and
over to Hawaii and Los Angeles.
Nine years ago, Andy headed to Waiheke and continued with his catering.
He secured the contract at Waiheke High School where he introduced one
Andy Boston says his love of food comes from his Lebanese mother. Now, while running the
kitchen at the Waiheke Dirt Track, he combines this with his other passion; writing.
Andy Boston has catered to the queen, but found
infinite satisfaction serving up healthy food to island
high school students. In his new cookbook, he hopes
to show Kiwis how to cook wholesome, healthy food
on a limited budget.
Waiheke Dirt Track Club
Racing Sunday 21 Oct
Racing Sunday 28 Oct
Fri Night 2 Nov
no EFTPOS, No Dogs
Multiple Award Winners
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