Gareth is the national executive chef for Nourish Group, creating all the menus across the group’s portfolio of pubs, bars and restaurants – including The Brit.
How did you end up doing what you’re doing?
I always wanted to be an executive chef from day one in the kitchen. I got my first big break aged 18 when I landed a job at the prestigious Claridge’s Hotel in London and then at 23 I joined the team at the Michelin-starred The Greenhouse in Mayfair. It was there, while working with some of the best food and other like-minded chefs, I truly realised my love of cooking. In 2007, I moved to New Zealand to be the head chef of Soul Bar & Bistro and after seven-and-a-half successful years there, I took on my current role with Nourish Group in 2015.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
Every day is completely different. Whether I’m helping to judge the winner of the Bakels New Zealand Supreme Pie Awards, working in the kitchen at Euro or creating delicious dishes for The Brit, I’m constantly being challenged. I’m also extremely passionate about food, service and restaurants and love looking for new and innovative ways to excite customers.
What are the dishes that we can’t miss on The Brit menu?
We’ve got something for everyone, with a focus on crowd-pleasing staple dishes, stone-baked foot long pizzas and buildable bowls for those after some greenery. The smashed wagyu burger is pretty awesome – it comes complete with a brioche bun, bacon, American cheese and pickles. Or for a lighter bite you can’t go past the lettuce cup tacos with tiger prawns, macho salsa, sour cream and coriander. Freshness is the key to any great dish!
What was the biggest challenge during the process of creating The Brit’s menu?
The brief for The Brit menu was slightly different to our other Nourish Group venues in that it’s not a restaurant but quintessentially a pub. As a result, the food needed to be simple but it also had to impress, which is something I believe we’ve successfully managed to do. We’ve also got some classic Brit favourites on offer, including the Scotch egg and Yorkshire pudding ’n' sausages – some dishes I was keen to include, being English and all!
What stands out about The Brit compared to other places you’ve worked?
Simply put, it’s a pub with awesome food. The two often don’t go hand-in-hand and we knew it was the type of venue downtown Auckland was lacking. Now people have somewhere to meet up and enjoy great drinks and delicious food in a relaxed setting.