Hayden Smith, former Euro Restaurant and Bar head chef, is now relishing a new role as senior recipe developer at My Food Bag after spending 20 years in restaurant kitchens.
Enjoying the rare opportunity to spend his daytime in the food industry, the new father of a one-year-old loves his newly found time with family. The fact he’s working in a job where he continues his love of designing recipes is an added bonus.
Smith isn’t the first high profile chef to join My Food Bag: others include Anton Leyland (formerly head Chef at Kermadec) and the brand’s co-founder Nadia Lim, a former winner of MasterChef.
It’s a new role at My Food Bag created to cater for the business’ growth and Smith is – initially at least – working on the company’s My Own Bag product, a bag of delicious ingredients and recipes to feed one adult. Smith has always been a fan of seasonal food and loves the great produce we have in New Zealand.
“The management side of food and hospitality has always interested me,” he says. “I love the My Food Bag concept using seasonal food to inspire people to eat well, with variety and in the freshest way.”
While Smith’s recipe development experience has been limited to deftly designing restaurant menus, he is relishing having the time to focus on developing and testing new cuisine. “In the restaurant it’s seat-of-the-pants stuff but at My Food Bag, because we are planning ahead, we have a little more time to explore more creative seasonal horizons,” he says.
Whatever the season, Smith’s focus is on keeping it simple, refined and fresh, a philosophy he developed working in the hothouses of UK and kitchens with an Italian bent.
Hayden Smith’s career began in restaurants throughout the North Island before he moved abroad to Australia and the UK. His first head chef role was at Lanes Restaurant of London helping gain a plethora of awards before he moved to Melbourne as head chef at The Deck. Smith was appointed to his former role at Euro in 2011 before recently joining My Food Bag.