ARC2014_145_1.jpg Westown Hotel [menus] (about 1976). Collection of Puke Ariki (ARC2014-145).

Andre Teissonniere was born to work in the hospitality industry. His parents were hotel owners in Provence and Paris, giving him an early grounding in a profession that he would pursue a long way from his native France, for the rest of his life. Andre immigrated to New Plymouth in the mid-1970s where he took up a position as the chef in the Westown Hotel Restaurant. It was here that he introduced Taranaki to gourmet French cuisine including foreign ingredients such as lobster, oysters, and duckling. His meals, dripping in sauces of butter, cream, wine and brandy, were like nothing seen on our shores before, and the restaurant menu includes dishes with his own personal flair such as Escalops of Veal A La Andre. In 1977 he opened his own restaurant, Andre's L'Escargot, a name that became synonymous with fine dining for over thirty years. Andre Teissonniere died in June 2013 leaving a legacy of exceptional cuisine and food service.

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