Home' Hospitality Business : HB SPT 2015 Contents Hospitality BUSINESS | September 2015 | 23
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Tour de France
All Blacks Tests
DESCRIBE NEW ZEALAND’S FOOD SCENE
PRIOR TO GOING OVERSEAS.
I had been working at Prego for two years and left in 2006 to
travel. At the time, Prego was heaving. The business crowd from
the city came to dine in droves and the lunches were long. We
worked long hours and under Krishna Botica, Roberta Schmulian
and Justin Gross, it was a great place to be.
HOW DID YOU END UP IN ITALY?
I loved Italian cuisine so I followed my heart to Milan, a serious global
food centre. My first position was intense, working for a very good
chef, Luca Seveso at Maio Restaurant – very prestigious with gourmet
à la carte dining and high volume banquets. The food was amazing,
the new wave of Italian cuisine, and the kitchen was Rolls Royce. It
was like a lab. There was induction, no flame and lots of machines. I
started as capo di partite then junior sous chef. It was a crash course
in real Italian food and language in a very professional enviroment.
I worked up to 80 hours, was paid for 40 but I stuck it out because
it was invaluable experience. Then I was sous chef at Ristorante I
Giaradelli for two years, also in Milan. Again, the standard was high,
the menu very creative and the clientele extremely sophisticated.
YOU ALSO WORKED FOR GIORGIO ARMANI
– WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?
It was time to step up. I got a role with the Armani Corporation
at the Emporio Armani Caffe & Restaurant through friends,
which is how it works there. The corporation, which employs
6000 people globally, has 12 Emporio Armani Caffes around the
world and we trained the chefs that staffed those restaurants.
This was a fantastic hands-on role which included menu prep and
presentation for and with the executive chef.
BACK HOME AGAIN, WHAT STRIKES YOU
MOST ABOUT THE FOOD SCENE NOW?
Just how many restaurants there are, it’s immense,, and how
many people are dining out. In 2006, people seemed to dine once a
week and spend $150, whereas now they might go out three times
a week and spend $50 each time. And where are all the Kiwis
in the kitchens? When I left Prego the brigade was 90 per cent
Kiwi, but now if it wasn’t for international staff the industry would
collapse. International staff bring a great level of professionalism
but it’s concerning if less Kiwis are interested in hospitality. The
turnover here is higher too compared to Italy and there seems
to be less passion for the job here. In Europe, staff seem more
appreciative and grateful to have a contract.
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE
YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN SO FAR?
Learn to walk before you run.
AND HOW ARE YOU FINDING THE TRANSITION FROM
ITALIAN FINE DINING TO NZ’S MORE CASUAL SCENE?
I love these more casual spots. They’re convenient and it’s
important for our industry to have choice. I
In the heart of Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter, Miss Clawdy’s new head chef Kiwi-born Mike McAulay recently returned
from nine years in Italy with an Italian wife, two children and an impressive line-up on cheffing roles in some of
Italy’s best restaurants. Spending time in the country some call the mother of all cuisines, McAulay loved Italy’s
food culture from trattorias, to markets and the three Michelin star restaurants that honour the cuisine’s long,
illustrious tradition while enhancing it in modern ways. But he’s pleased to be home, leading the brigade for a
venue that prides itself on food with attitude – the big playful flavours of the South and Central Americas.
- our gain
Recently returned from nine years cheffing in
some of Italy’s best restaurants, Miss Clawdy’s
new head chef, Mike McAulay.
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