mymuybueno Cookery School Folder*
All Ingredients & Equipment
Certificate of Attendance
Tea & Coffee
Glass of Wine
Lunch (you will eat everything that you make)
*New students only
- Soft Poached Egg, Caramelised Onion, Parmesan Velouté Truffle
- Smoked Duck Breast, Beetroot, Plum and Goats Cheese
- Lemon Meringue
For more information or to book your place click here or you can
email [email protected] or call (+34) 971720017
Phil will be doing a Pop-Up Dinner at mymuybueno Cookery School, book your seat now
After leaving school at 15, I was put into a kitchen to work as I had very few choices available to me and it was a well-paid job. However, by the age of 17 I had totally fallen in love with the kitchen and the hospitality environment.
When I was 19 I got my first big break as junior sous chef for a function group called The Wharf, who did all the big house and boat parties and weddings for TV stars, politicians and the very rich around New Zealand.
I did three or more years with The Wharf, as I loved it, but it was around this time that I realised I wanted to open my own small bistro restaurant and was reading loads of cooking books about London. I wanted to work 18-20 hour days in the dungeons underground – I really wanted that experience! I was young and hungry to learn.
I left the function group and went to work in a small restaurant called Pure, which was one of the top 50 best. This place was great! The chef was from Sweden and his wife was from Germany and they had both worked in Michelin restaurants before moving to New Zealand a couple of years earlier. We were cooking modern European food using wood fire ovens, making sausages, salamis and wood fire oven baked bread.
, and we also hosted German food nights with the most amazing desserts. This was a great experience and I finally saved enough money to move to London. I felt sad, but it was time to live my dream.
I got a job working at Dean Street Townhouse. They had paid for my flights to London but I had to do a one year contract with them. It was hard for me to adapt to the style of food. English brasserie food for very rich members was just not for me and I was quickly asking chefs where the hardest Michelin kitchen in London was. They all pointed me to Wild Honey restaurant in Mayfair.
Colin Kelly was the head chef and I soon found out that he was a crazy Irish man who was always angry and chefs kept coming and going almost every day. It was a hard kitchen. We started at 6:30am and worked double shifts with no breaks until midnight. At first we did ten days on with two days off then, before I knew it, it was 20 days straight. There was only three of us in the kitchen – two crazy Irish men and me, a Kiwi. We did three months straight with no days off, feeding 100 people for lunch and 120 for dinner and we kept the Michelin Star. It was a big year for me and I learned so much about the food and how far I could push myself.
At the end of the year Colin Kelly left to open his own restaurant, Picture, and Anthony Demetre the chef/owner came to work with us at Wild Honey. He also had another Michelin Star restaurant, Arbutus in Soho, and eventually I was given the junior sous chef job there with my old sous chef Tom. I had a great time for a year before again looking to push myself and move on, and so I sent an email to Tom Aikens asking for a job. He was known to be the hardest chef in town and I liked working hard for crazy chefs.
He asked me to come in for a trial but once again I was in a situation where chefs kept coming and going and it was like Wild Honey all over again – back to working endless days and hours with no staff. However, after two months I finally got a day off to work with Tom and I got the job! I was still working long days, but the restaurant was closed two days a week so having those two days off was like having a holiday.
The pastry chef left and I was keen to learn about Tom’s pastry as it was among some of the best in town. We did 30 petits fours, ten different breads and eight desserts and garnishes for a hot kitchen. The team was the best I had worked with and everyone was pushing hard and pushing each other to be great. Tom Aikens wanted two stars and so did the rest of us, but unfortunately it never happened and six months later Tom’s backers decided to close the restaurant.
I returned to Wild Honey as sous chef under Anthony Demetre for another eight months before eventually heading back to New Zealand to open my own modern bistro. Three days after we opened, I got a top review and we were very busy, getting good reviews most weeks.
A year later I won New Zealand’s Best New Restaurant and achieved a spot in the Top 50. I consider Phil’s Kitchen to be one of my greatest creations and I continue to push myself and my team to become even better.