The brains behind Winona Forever launch Major Tom, a new cafe in Albany

by Kate Richards / 25 January, 2018
Photography by Kate Milliken

Practised cafeteurs Francesca Mazza and Aaron Carson have built a cult-like following during their years on the city’s hospo circuit. Formerly of Epsom’s Hello Friends and Allies, Little Sister in Henderson and owners of popular Parnell cafe Winona Forever, their reputation for Insta-worthy meals and sinful cabinet food have garnered them a significant social media posy, with followers in the thousands. Their ability to open a new site in a matter of months means they’ve long been feeding Auckland’s insatiable appetite for the new, too, and now they’re bringing a version of their signature visually-pleasing Winona Forever menu to their new cafe, Major Tom, in Albany.

A completely solar-powered, pan-industrial space, Major Tom fits snugly into the fabric of an otherwise sterile commercial area on the corner of Apollo and Orbit Drive (and yes, the name is a David Bowie reference). Outside, festoon lights are strung over wooden school-like tables while inside, polished tiles sit alongside tiny glass vases, creeping vines and potted fiddle leaf fig trees. The eye is drawn to the back wall to an impressive mural painted by Kieran Donnelly (ex-Two Hands Tattoo Parlour), the couple’s friend.

Mazza, a pastry chef, has developed a menu which reads as an extension of the couple’s other ventures: There is breakfast bruschetta with seasonal vegetables and prosciutto layered as intricately as mosaic tiles. A spinach-infused crepe comes curled around garlicky mushrooms and topped with a poached egg and flowers – the dish is meant to look like a nasturtium – and the French toast is strikingly similar to the one at Winona: a whacking great slab of house-made brioche with little dots of meringue, fruit gel and a summer bounty of berries and peach. A blob of dulce de leche panna cotta takes pride of place at the plate’s centre.

French toast at Major Tom.

Major Tom has been an eight-month project but there are even more things brewing for Mazza and Carson. Not only are they in the process of developing café/delis in both Sale Street and Three Kings, but the couple is working alongside Chelsea Sugar and the refinery’s multimillion-dollar restoration project, on a café which is set to open in April this year.  

Major Tom

87 Apollo Drive

Albany

Major Tom opens 26 January 2018

 

Latest

Naseby's chilliest night means a rare opportunity for curling
96697 2018-09-25 00:00:00Z Sport

Naseby's chilliest night means a rare opportunity …

by Guy Frederick

Weather conditions have to be perfect for an outdoor curling match – last winter, for the first time in seven years, Naseby delivered.

Read more
Students walk out of Hamilton high school over principal's truancy comments
96723 2018-09-24 14:06:35Z Education

Students walk out of Hamilton high school over pri…

by RNZ

More than 100 students walked out of a Hamilton high school in protest after the principal said truants are more likely to wind up being a rape victim

Read more
Colin Craig drops damages claim against former press secretary
96717 2018-09-24 13:10:01Z Politics

Colin Craig drops damages claim against former pre…

by RNZ

Colin Craig has withdrawn his claims for damages against his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor but is still suing her for defamation.

Read more
PM in New York: Ardern's first speech focuses on lifting children from poverty
96691 2018-09-24 07:54:36Z Politics

PM in New York: Ardern's first speech focuses on l…

by Chris Bramwell

Jacinda Ardern has used her first speech in the US to recommit the government to making New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child.

Read more
Give Kate A Voice: Bringing Kate Sheppard's speeches to life
96352 2018-09-24 00:00:00Z History

Give Kate A Voice: Bringing Kate Sheppard's speech…

by Noted

Famous Kiwi women read the powerful words of Kate Sheppard, who fought for the right for women to vote.

Read more
Ladies in Black – movie review
96686 2018-09-24 00:00:00Z Movies

Ladies in Black – movie review

by Russell Baillie

This nicely nostalgic female coming-of-age tale set in a Sydney department store almost sings.

Read more
A Southern man goes for gold in Garston growing hops
95518 2018-09-24 00:00:00Z Small business

A Southern man goes for gold in Garston growing ho…

by Mike White

Nelson and Motueka are well known for their hops but Garston hops are starting to be noticed by brewers.

Read more
How to lower your exposure to potentially toxic household products
96525 2018-09-24 00:00:00Z Health

How to lower your exposure to potentially toxic ho…

by Nicky Pellegrino

Alexx Stuart advocates changing one thing a week. With personal-care items, she says the place to start is body lotion.

Read more