Sweet Cuisine By Brian Campbell

The Staff Canteen

First of all let me introduce myself, I am pastry chef, a traveller, a diner, I have travelled around the world for dining and for work.

My first 'real' job in a kitchen was at Lucknam Park with Robin Zavou as my Executive chef where I worked my way up over 3 years t running the Pastry section, I then moved from country house to country house over the next few years from the Isles of Scilly with Stewery Eddy up to Fawsey hall with Chef Phil Dixon. In between a stint at the Bath Priory under the management of Sue Williams. After working in a few other places in the UK I decided it was time for a change. I ended up getting a position in Auckland, NZ, at the acclaimed French Cafe which at that point in time was at the top of its game in New Zealand.

Having moved to the other side of the world everything seemed a little different, being a smaller country it seemed like a bit of a challenge to get the ingredients I have been used to during my years in England. The seasons had reversed themselves on me, winter became summer, I was eating berries in December and harvesting winter fruits in July. I worked on a beautiful Olive Estate called Bracu where we could pick lemons, limes, pears, apples, passion fruit and a first for me Feijoas. More recently I worked at Kermadec for the last two and a half years as the Pastry Chef of two restaurants, one a brasserie and the other a more formal restaurant both operating out of one kitchen which I helped in the design and worked through the build of it. That takes me up to the present date where I have just take a position as the Exec Pastry Chef at the new Hilton complex in Queenstown.

You can read more about that on my blog in the next few months. My blog Sweet Cuisine has been up and running for around about 2 years, depending on work I try to update regularly but this has varied due t staffing, time and stuff to post. I use it as a bit of a diary of what I have done, present dishes, where I have eaten out, travelled to etc. I sort of fell int blogging,  when reading lots of other blogs around the web to keep up to date on whats happening in the world of cuisine, New Zealand can feel quite isolated and you can lose touch with whats happening very fast, so I figured why shouldnt I do one to keep my friends and family up to date on what I have been up to while down under. From there it grew and grew, very slowly to begin but it has increased readers steadily over the last 16 months.

I found blogging about my travels and other restaurants on the way have attracted many visitors, although now Ive managed to have a loyal following of readers for my usual work related posts.  I have met many interesting and inspiring people and have some great new contacts all through my blog, it acts as a marketing tool and with twitter and other social media links I find it opens many doors to interesting opportunities in the hospitality industry. In the last few years I have squeezed in a month long tour of Spain, heading to Quique DaCosta, El Celler de Can Roca, Mugaritz, Arzak, Sergi Aroa Gastro,  Hotel Ferrero. Visiting many great cities , museums, markets and the most impressive pastry shops of Oriol Balaguer, Paco Torreblanca, Carles Mampel's Bubo,  and then the year after I made it to Chicago to do small stage at Alinea and eat in Avenues, Alinea and L20 just before the Michelin guide shared 8 stars between them, (although I though Curtis Duffy's Avenues was absolute standout).  

All the reviews are on my site. I've taken a little from all the places I visit and like to think I'm finding my own style of cooking from what I have learnt on my travels, work and eating out. Moving to New Zealand and experiencing everything along the way has it has for sure improved my cooking, the lifestyle is good and opportunities are coming along now as the cuisine in the country develops.

 This blog is bought to you by Brian Campbell. That's about it, pop along to my blog and see what i have been up to or catch me on twitter.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 23rd March 2011

Sweet Cuisine By Brian Campbell