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.; sax­o­nand­pa­

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