Reon Hobson


"I don’t need all stars give me chef who is eager, dedicated and willing to learn and I’m happy "


What made you want to become a chef?
I fell into cooking whilst at school and it’s been my life ever since.

Who has influenced your cooking style or your philosophy on food?
Dietmar Sawyere was a big influence in my younger years in the kitchen. He taught me to be push boundaries and not rest on my laurels. 

What inspires you or where do you get your inspiration from?


What is your favourite method of cookery or preparation?
I’m a big fan of always trying to evolve the menu so I make a conscious decision not to try and repeat techniques.

What is your favourite ingredient?

I have a real fascination with lichen at the moment, but anything in season is always good to work with and here in New Zealand we are coming into spring so spring lamb will make its way back onto the menu.

What is your favourite kitchen tool?
I can’t go past my tasting spoons, I’ve had the same ones now for 15 years lol.

What is your favourite section in the kitchen to work on during your apprenticeship?
I think every chef looks at sauce and thinks that’s where I want to be but ever section is a stepping stone and you never stop moving.

Where you like to eat out?

I enjoy spicy food so Indian and Thai are always a favourite.

What would you like to see change with the cook schools?
For them to receive more help from within the industry they are an integral part of our industry and without them we wouldn’t have the next generation of chefs coming through the ranks.

Your advice to young chefs?
Stick with it, take it on the chin and come back the next day ready to do it all again.

What do you look for when hiring staff?

Motivated minds.

What would you like to see change in the industry?
More female chefs, it’s a very male dominated industry and there are brilliant female chefs out there and it would be nice to see more come through.

What is your first memory of food that blew your mind?
Making chocolate mousse and having it seize in winter because the kitchen was cold then having to make it in the walk in during summer when it was hot. Just seeing the way food could react in different temperatures I thought it was amazing.

What is your favourite escape to relax?

What drives your ambition?
I wouldn’t say its ambition just a desire not to be stagnate and to always evolve.

What is your signature dish?
I wouldn’t say I have a signature dish more a signature style. I like to have a bit of fun with the menu and have the odd surprise with the dishes.

How do you motivate your team?
If I need to motivate them then they are in the career.

How do you think restaurants should be rated?
The best award is being full, hats or stars are nice recognition of a team effort but without guests what’s the point. 

If you had to build the best kitchen team who would be in your kitchen all stars?

I don’t need all stars give me chef who is eager, dedicated and willing to learn and I’m happy.