Chef Anthony Price
At age 34 I decided that I would follow my true passion which is cooking. I figured the most exciting and colorful way would be to enter MasterChef New Zealand. When registration opened for the 2012 series of MasterChef I took the leap of faith and went for it.
For my audition dish I cooked pistachio crusted Hapuka with orange and kumara rosti and a lime hollandaise sauce.
It was a simple dish which Simon Gault really liked, Ray McVinnie seemed a little indifferent towards and the deciding vote came down to Josh Emmett. Josh took ten minutes to decide my fate and finally swayed in my favor with a little help from Simon in the form of a wee nudge!
I kept a low profile during the first half of the show, flying under the radar. It was not until the fine dining challenges that I really started to get a good clip on.
I finished as a semifinalist and won all but one of the fine dining challenges.
It was during one of the fine dining challenges that I met my teacher and mentor, Executive Chef Nick Honeyman.
Nick was the Executive Chef at Cru restaurant at Sale St in the city. He invited me in to the kitchen to gain some experience and after a couple of services I was hooked and made the choice to put all my time and effort in to upskilling with a view to having a serious career in the food industry.
Just six weeks after starting with Nick at Cru Nick was head hunted by Pack & Co and we all moved over to Takapuna where we opened their new flagship restaurant, The Commons.
The Commons is Nick’s showcase which offers the best of his cuisine talents which he has accrued over the past 11 years. Opening The Commons was a very intense exercise and by Nick’s own admission, the hardest thing he has ever done.
For me it was the ultimate sink or swim pressure cooker. It made most of the challenges on MasterChef look like child’s play comparatively. For the first two months we all did 85-90 hour weeks without reprise. The learning curve was very steep and fast paced.
I started off in the larder section which deals with cold entrees and desserts. I was promoted to Chef De Partie after only three months and was solely responsible for the larder section. Starting off in the larder section was a real advantage, I have seen quite a few chefs whom are very talented on the hotline but really struggle with pastry and dessert, they are very different disciplines and I am thankful to have gained experience in both.
I continued to run the larder section for eight months and was then transferred to the meat section where I continued to work for another four months. I took a five week hiatus in the south island before returning to Auckland to rejoin forces with Nick and open Everybody’s Izakaya. Everybody’s Izakaya is a modern Japanese restaurant in Imperial Lane just off Queen Street.
After just nine weeks, many excellent reviews and the promise of the Head Chef’s position by Christmas I made the unexpected decision to resign. I have now completed over three thousand hours under Nick Honeyman and I feel I am ready to go out on my own and offer my passion and services as a private chef.
I look forward to cooking for you soon.