Top chef shuts up shop

Central Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - THOMAS HEATON

Ven­er­a­ble chef Michael Mered­ith is clos­ing his Auck­land restau­rant this year to spend time with his fourth daugh­ter, due in Fe­bru­ary.

Since open­ing in 2007, Mered­ith­sRes­tau­rant has con­sis­tently rated among the best in the coun­try. That in­cludes be­ing one of only a hand­ful of restau­rants na­tion-wide to re­ceive a three-hat rat­ing in Cui­sine mag­a­zine’s an­nual Good Food Awards.

That suc­cess came at a cost to his fam­ily, he said,so the fa­ther-of-three wanted to spend time with his new­est daugh­ter in her early days.

‘‘It’s hard be­ing a chef and try­ing to be at home,’’ Mered­ith said.

‘‘My kids, they were there but the fo­cus and pres­sure on me was some­where else’’.

Un­for­tu­nately his re­la­tion­ship with his part­ner did not sur­vive, be­cause of the pres­sure, he said. That part­ner, and his three older chil­dren, now live in Aus­tralia.

‘‘I’m very for­tu­nate to be able to step away now and I can make this choice to en­joy the birth of my daugh­ter’’.

Mered­ith said his next project would have a ‘‘mas­sive so­cial side to it’’, but kept quiet on the de­tails.

Mered­ith founded Eat My Lunch in 2015, with busi­ness part­ner Lisa King, and re­cently ex­panded to cre­ate din­ners too. Mered­ith was also named as con­sul­tant chef to Air New Zealand, along­side chef Peter Gor­don, in 2016.

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