Bradley Smith

Bradley Smith


Whangarei N.Z


As children we were all asked what we would like be when we grow up? When all the other kids said a fire man or a bug hunter, I was dreaming of being a chef.

I started off my career in 1995 as a kitchen hand in a bakery in a small town north of New Zealand. After a year of Palmolive soap suds, water soaked pruned hands and enough pies for a lifetime. I threw in my brightly coloured rubber apron and enrolled in the Waikato Institute of Technology as a culinary student.

Now fast forward into the future, through many long hours of work in a hot kitchen with screaming head chefs breathing down my neck and criticizing everything I did (without whom I would not be the chef I am today). I have discovered my addiction is to indulge in the creative freedom that my food gives me. For me the formula of a great plate is:

Imagination + fresh flavor = the taste of achievement in every dish.

To sum up my work it is dedication to the consuming passion of gastronomy.

How would you define your style? 

Contemporary Australian

Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:

Being a chef can be a long hard journey, at times it’s like being stuck in a labyrinth made out of multi coloured plastic chopping boards, stainless steel benches with the sound of the docket machine never stopping, stress, and a work load that the 9 to 5's would never experience or understand.

However, having said that, when you make it through those long day and nights without a hitch, where praise and empty plates come back to the kitchen, it’s one of the most satisfying feelings. Obviously your co-workers beside you needs to be on the same page for the team to win that battle, so the conclusion is everyone I have work with has contributed something good towards my culinary adventure. I have been inspired from the screamy pan throwing chef that taught me discipline, perfection and to the crazy chefs that made me laugh to get though the day. I would not be the chef that I am today, without all the characters of this twisted kitchen culture and the bizarre second life us chefs find with in hospitality.