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QT Auckland Appoints New Food & Beverage Team Members, Serving Up Seasonal Menus at Esther & Rooftop at QT

Posted on: 18 June 2021

QT Auckland welcomes two key food and beverage team members leading the charge across the hotel’s dining offerings, including signature restaurant Esther and rooftop bar Rooftop at QT, named Bar of the Year in Remix Magazine’s Lifestyle Awards.

Joining the talented QT Auckland team led by General Manager Doron Whaite and renowned Chef Sean Connolly, are two of Auckland’s most experienced hospitality professionals, bringing to life a highly creative food and beverage programme that combines locally-sourced ingredients with QT’s signature service.

James Kelly, appointed to Food and Beverage Director, has spent more than 15 years in the Auckland hospitality scene, with extensive experience in restaurant openings, operations, and large scale events. James hails from Nourish Group, where he most recently served as General Manager of 17 venues, progressing his career across some of Auckland’s most iconic restaurants, including Iguacu, Cibo and Euro Restaurant and Bar. James brings his creativity and passion to QT Auckland, working alongside Esther’s Executive Chef James Laird and Restaurant Manager Riccardo Del Noce, and the Rooftop at QT team.

Bar Manager for Rooftop at QT Egor Petrov also brings impressive industry experience spanning New Zealand, Australia and Dubai. After studying business management at AUT, Egor began his hospitality career as a hotel concierge at a new property in Melbourne, but quickly found a creative outlet behind the bar, channeling his artistry into making cocktails. Returning to New Zealand, he honed his skills at Britomart Hospitality Company and Waiwera Spirits before expanding his horizons in Dubai working at top hotels and bars like Totora Cebicheria Peruana, Neo’s Cocktail Lounge and Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera – now working with Connolly once again at QT Auckland.

With the changing season, QT Auckland introduces new menu offerings to match the cooler temperatures. Rooftop at QT introduces a new cocktail list perfect for fireside chats or wrapped up on the outdoor deck, while a focus on truffle season and local autumnal produce weaves its way through Esther’s restaurant and bar menus.

Rooftop at QT warms up for winter

Boasting its Remix Bar of the Year award win in just six months since opening, Rooftop at QT has proved its status as an Auckland favourite. Rooftop at QT has released a new seasonal cocktail lineup drawing inspiration from local ingredients and the harbourside locale. Standouts include the RuRu, a refreshing and classic flavour combination of Rhubarb, Apple Brandy, Fennel Gin and Citrus; and the Sugar Plum, a floral cocktail featuring Plum Sake, Amaretto, Rose Vodka, Vanilla and Citrus.

A new Winter Warmers Menu by Glenlivet includes four Whisky-based cosy cocktails perfect for colder weather, including a Highland Flat White, a Kiwi twist on an Irish Coffee topped with white chocolate and orange foam.

With a central fireplace inside, plus a covered roof, heat lamps and plenty of blankets on the outdoor deck, Rooftop at QT is set up for cozy evenings throughout the winter months.

Esther introduces seasonal truffle menu

Maintaining its sun-soaked Mediterranean-inspired fare, Esther is embracing the much-anticipated truffle season. Boasting one of Auckland’s most robust truffle selections, a special set menu available the month of July features Périgold black truffles from Tewnion Truffière in Christchurch.

To celebrate the season, Esther is hosting a Truffle Lunch on 10 July, showcasing a feasting style menu of eight dishes designed by Chef Sean Connolly – from Périgold truffle fonduta, to ricotta gnocchi with Tewnion truffles, and apple tart fin with truffle ice cream to finish.

For more information about QT Auckland’s dining promotions across Rooftop at QT and Esther, visit

To see Rooftop at QT’s seasonal cocktail list and tapas menu, visit

To see Esther’s seasonal menus and to reserve a table, visit

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