Twelve years ago George Hilder introduced the Hot Rock Dining concept offering diners a new and exciting experience in cooking and taste.
He called it “designed dining, a great adventure” and it has certainly taken on since.
While Wellington’s Club House Hotel has made a name throughout the region for the Hot Rock concept, Mr Hilder continues to extol the taste difference to everyone he meets and is now providing the sensational dining experience at eateries throughout Europe and North America.
Hot Rock Dining is now established in Canada, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“We are even establishing two separate venues at Disneyland in California,” he said while visiting Wellington last week.
“We’re still only a young company but our plans for the next 18 months are to establish stand-alone restaurants around the globe,” he said.
“It’s planned to have 200 restaurants in the UK, 800 in the US and 55 throughout Australia.
“There are 51,000 pubs in the UK and I aim to get Hot Rocks into 5000 of them in time to come.”
Big plans but the product is great. You only have to ask the hundreds of diners who keep returning to the Club House for another steak cooked at the table on a slab of polished granite.
According to George Hilder, the use of stone or rock is not new.
“It goes back thousands of years where man took advantage of the natural ability of stones to retain and radiate heat.
“This made an ideal cooking source through a diverse range of cultures and civilisation,” he said.
Special stone sourced from overseas guarantees the heat keeping qualities that enable a diner to cook red meat, fish or chicken to the desired taste requirement.
However, it’s the simplicity of the cooking process that satisfies diners.
“It’s a unique approach to dining,” Mr Hilder said.
“Your customer enjoys the experience of cooking a meal to his or her satisfaction.
“The rock is on the table in front of them, they cut and cook their eye fillet or chicken exactly how they like it cooked.
“Each diner is their own chef and enjoys being around the table with their friends, enjoying the same experience.”
“The customer is in control of his or her meal,” he added.