NYC IS COMING TO AUCKLAND’S WATERFRONT
chef Brad Farmerie’s career has seen him cook in some of the world’s best restaurants, and now the 44-year-old is bringing a piece of The Big Apple to Aotearoa. Brad’s restaurant Saxon + Parole will take centre stage in Auckland’s waterfront Commercial Bay development, penned for completion in 2019.
Brad started his career with Kiwi chef Peter Gordon at The Sugar Club in London, before working at top UK restaurants such as Chez Nico and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. Gordon’s influence always stuck with him. “When I first moved to London in 1996 with zero cooking experience, Peter was kind enough to give me my first job. He was such an inspiration.
“I did some internships at Michelin-star restaurants where everyone pretended they knew everything. Peter was different, he was always asking questions. That’s something I still hold near and dear to my heart.”
Brad opened his first restaurant, Public, in New York in 2003, and partly thanks to Peter’s inspiration, New Zealand played a prominent role on the menu and wine list. It was awarded a Michelin star in 2009 and helped launch the career of top Kiwi chefs Matt Lambert, of the Michelinstarred The Musket Room, and Monique Fiso of Hiakai. Public closed earlier this year.
Saxon + Parole, a bistro-style restaurant with a big focus on cocktails, opened in New York in 2011, joining Public and several other eateries to make up Avroko Hospitality Group, over which Brad presides as executive chef. A second Saxon opened in Moscow in 2013, and now bringing the restaurant to Auckland seems right. “I feel like this is my career coming full circle. [Peter’s] influence has held true until now,” Brad says.
While the Auckland Saxon + Parole will be faithful to its New York origins, “we want the Saxon down there to have its own identity”, he says. “We’ll be putting together some of our greatest hits as a framework, and then get down there and do some playing.” commercialbay. co.nz; saxonandparole.com