Chef, entrepreneur, educator and all-round maestro, Simon Gault is The Boss. When Simon-says a whole lot of things happen... amazing food, passion and lives are changed for the better.
Simon the deity doesn’t cook, he shares. Every last supper is a part of him on a plate. This level of engagement requires sacrifice, sweat, long-haul travel, late nights, rigorous media campaigns and a lot of time at the grill. This relentless dedication has seen him inducted into the New Zealand Restaurant Association Hall of Fame and awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young in the Services Category.
Simon delivers what people don’t expect. “Do things that are different and make a difference,” is a Simonism. The world-class chef does do things differently. He keeps his own vegetable gardens with chickens, and after a busy shift and a long commute, he uncoils his hose and nurtures them because “the taste and smells are completely different. My garden is something I’m very proud of. I’m really big on knowing where my ingredients come from.”
As an internationally acclaimed chef at a vast array of establishments including London’s Leiths restaurant and the prestigious, Michelin-starred Thornbury Castle, Simon’s Auckland viaduct restaurant Giraffe is a celebration of everything that makes NZ great. Giraffe showcases his own produce alongside the finest local producers and growers on offer. His passion for quality ingredients, is the motivation behind Gault’s Deli, the fine foods delicatessen from artisan producers all over the globe. This dedication to quality has resulted in a collaboration of the Simon Gault Home Cuisine homewares with Briscoes.
Previously the winner of the New Zealand Restaurant Association Innovator of the Year Award and the Lewisham Awards - Chef of the Year and Outstanding Hospitality Personality of the Year, Simon is the mastermind behind Gault’s stocks, sauces and seasonings available throughout NZ supermarkets.
He makes ketchup without any refined sugar because it makes him feel good. He hopes it makes people feel good too. There was a time Simon didn’t feel good. He had to lose weight and was struggling to manage his diabetes. He shares this sobering experience with anyone, everyone; sharing it has saved lives. Educating people about eating well is a huge part of Simon’s ethos.
There’s never a dull moment with Simon. He’s a television presenter, business and motivational speaker, restaurateur and leading innovator across multiple foodie industries. Honoured with the AUT School of Hospitality and Tourism award for Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality and Tourism Community, Simon takes it all in his stride as one of the country’s most-respected food leaders.
‘We’ is his pronoun of choice. ‘We’ do a lot. ‘We’ do a lot more than great food. ‘We’ is a health movement, a vision of making a difference, a commitment to developing others and hitting their goals. ‘We’ is his family - by work and by blood.
‘We’ push to put the best of everything out for customer inspiration, not just satisfaction. Sometimes being so immersed is difficult, but it is always worth it. “I care,” he says after brief reflection, slightly out of breath as the frypan sparks and fires in his hands.
‘I care,’ is a Simonism you’ll see more than you’ll hear.