Your hosts, Brett and Lorraine Taylor
Brett has a passion for creating each customer an enjoyable dining experience.
Brett was apprentice chef at Hobson House in Parnell in 1979, and worked his way up to Sous Chef. The restaurant won excellent reviews and several awards during his tenure. From 1983 he worked on Australia’s Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays for two years. As Head Chef, he delivered a la carte menus and buffets to some of Australia’s richest elite.
By 1985 he was working in top bars and cafes in England and with his team won the Best Breakfast in the United Kingdom Award from a field of 2500 entries.
1992 saw him in France at Magno’s Brasserie creating Nouvelle Cuisine – each plate a work of art. He says, “The French were great to work with. They took their food creation to extremes”.
Brett opened his first restaurant in Cambridge, England in 1995. Chequers specialised in seafood and game cuisine and with an international team their reputation for great food was soon established.
Like many overseas New Zealanders home is never far from the heart and in 1999 Brett returned to work for a temping agency. “I was thrown into a different job every week. The variety was fantastic and I learned lots about Asian cooking. I forget how often I was offered the job at the end of the week, but I wanted my own place and in 2004 took over a Maungaturoto cafe for ten years.”
Brett’s partner, Lorraine, comes from a very different background in Childcare Centre management, where working with children and organising rosters, marketing and administration were her mainstay.
Lorraine was diagnosed with coeliac disease several years ago and has found eating gluten free when dining out is always a challenge and having to critique every menu is hard work. She is the inspiration behind Brett’s extraordinary food creativity for healthy gluten free food and the Tee Cafe.