There are 5 key people who make up the backbone of our crew. We have all worked together over the years in one or more of Mark and Helen Limacher’s restaurants.
There’s Mark and Helen of course, and though you don’t see much of Helen, she works hard in the background keeping things ticking like clockwork on the admin management side.
Keeping it in the family, their daughter Anna has come on board and fully committed to Ortega’s front of house efforts.
Then there’s chef Peter Collins with his own highly awarded career at the helm of one of Mark’s restaurants.
And finally the fifth member of our key team at Ortega, Davey McDonald, in charge of everything liquid since 2001.
Read more about each of them below
Mark has been cooking since leaving school and has had an exciting career in the kitchens of top restaurants for over 35 years, working in some of the most prestigious in France, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand.
Mark opened the Roxburgh Bistro in 1992 followed by Café Bastille in 2001. Both restaurants enjoyed rave reviews and won numerous national awards for his outstanding food and wine lists. Ortega Fish Shack & Bar is Mark’s 3rd restaurant.
Peter Collins- Chef
Peter and Mark have worked together on and off for 30 years and Peter was head chef at Café Bastille when it won “Cuisine NZ restaurant of the year” in 2005. For the last 4 years Peter has been working in the cheese industry and has enjoyed having some quality time with his family. Peter and Mark have rejoined ranks once again to bring you the freshest seasonal seafood and produce sourced from around New Zealand.
Anna has restaurants in her blood she has been hanging around her parents restaurants since she was a toddler. She started working part time at their newly opened Café Bastille when she was 14, working there for 4 years during it’s award winning phase, and honing her front of house skills to be amongst the best in the business. Anna takes pride in her customers enjoyment of the whole evening and you’ll be hard pushed to find a more relaxed yet professional atmosphere in town. Anna has worked in the hospitality industry since leaving school, both in Wellington, as well as taking a year working at Garfish in Sydney. Anna is a proud co-owner of Ortega and is relishing the opportunity to make her mark on the Wellington restaurant scene.
Davey has been actively and passionately involved in Wellington’s hospitality scene since 2001, when he was Maitre d’ at The Roxburgh Bistro, then going on to be manager of Cafe Bastille.
In 2004, Davey furthered his epicurean tour of duty in Australia, working alongside famous kiwi Chef Mark Dickey in his Sydney restaurant, Garfish.
Back in New Zealand, Davey honed his wine skills, achieving distinction in the International Wine and Spirit Education exams, and managing the independent, cult Wellington wine retailer, Wineseeker - as well as getting involved in the 2008 vintage of boutique Martinborough wine producer, Murdoch James Estate.
Davey is now co-owner, Maitre d’, manager, and all-round-good-guy of Ortega Fish Shack & Bar - for your food and wine matching experience– Davey is your man!
Anna and Davey are very excited to be partners in this new business and have worked hard to ensure that every diner at Ortega Fish Shack and Bar leaves with a smile on their face. They are both passionate about giving terrific, friendly service in a relaxed atmosphere.
Helen has been at Mark’s side for over 35 years. Childhood sweetheart, nurse, business partner, mother of their 4 daughters, restaurant manager, best friend, netball coach, and the glue that holds everything, and everyone together. Sharing a love of great food and wine (this picture was taken at the 3 star Akelaré in San Sebastian), Helen has been keeping the business end of the restaurants going behind the scenes while also looking after the everyday needs of family life. “Hospitality is a great life, full of rich experiences and lots of great people, and of course exceptionally good food!”