Chef on a Mission
Broadcaster TVNZ 1
Series 1, 2011 - 6 x 1 hour
You may know Simon Gault as executive chef of Euro restaurant, MasterChef New Zealand judge or, according to a recent poll, the ninth most-trusted New Zealander.
But now you're about to see another side of the country’s favourite cook: Chef On A Mission. Simon’s mission: to change the way people eat.
Over six action-packed episodes, Simon leaves the comfort of his five-star Auckland waterfront kitchen and takes his ideas about food, nutrition and flavour right to the heartland - and the people who live and work there.
He has to dish up big food fast as he caters for hungry hordes of deep-sea fishermen, a South Island shearing gang, Hawkes Bay schoolgirls, guests at a big Samoan wedding, police college recruits and the crew of an offshore gas platform. Simon's challenge is to experience their way of life, taste their meals - then see if he can make a difference to the way they eat. Where possible he must cook in their kitchens, using only local ingredients and keeping within their normal budget. His secret weapon: his 'box of tricks' – a trusty toolkit filled with oils, herbs, spices and specialist equipment he never travels far without.
Enduring intense activities like working on the trawl deck of a deep-sea fishing boat, shearing a merino ram, going on police patrol in downtown Wellington and doing the hard yards on an offshore gas platform, Simon is taken right outside his comfort zone. And then he has to cook – well enough to impress some of the toughest customers in the country. It's a culinary journey that will push him to the limit.
As much as it is about good food, Chef On A Mission is also about the stunning locations and the brilliant characters Simon encounters along the way.
"It's been a humbling experience to go out there into heartland New Zealand and get an insight into some very different ways of life," says Simon. "I've met wonderful people in amazing locations and I just hope I've been able to bring that extra five per cent magic to their table."