Michael Meredith is one of Auckland’s most celebrated chefs who set up popular Dominion Road his eponymous restaurant, Merediths, but really won the hearts of locals with his philanthropic vision of Eat My Lunch. The concept was simple—buy a lunch, and he’ll give a free lunch to a child who has gone to school hungry. His vision quickly became a reality, and recently the Eat My Lunch team announced that it has now provided 100,000 lunches to kids in need. What a guy!
The Urban List recently chatted with the stellar chef about what he loves about Auckland, his fave spots, where he finds his inspiration and, that all essential question: what would he feed us if we came for dinner.
It’s a great city with a great buzz and growing quickly.
What is your favourite place in Auckland to enjoy breakfast?
What do you do for relaxation?
Bush walks and bike rides. I love to be able to get out of the hustle & bustle of the city.
Where was the last place you went out for dinner and what did you think?
Depot—the food is always good and I especially love the freshly shucked oysters
If you’re out for drinks with friends, where do you love to go?
Apero on K’Road. It’s small and tucked away, but great!
When friends visit Auckland, where is your first stop?
Where do you get your food inspo from?
Whatever produce that’s in season, eating out and seeing what other chefs are doing, social media and traveling.
Do you have a mentor, and if so, who?
No, but I’m inspired by local and international chefs.
Were you always interested in food?
Yes, I grew up around food from when I was very young.
When/why did you decide to become a chef?
When I left school, I really enjoyed art and the creative side led to an interest in food in my early 20’s.
What was your biggest obstacle to overcome?
Balancing family commitments and sacrificing a social life.
What’s your go-to comfort dish?
What’s the best thing about being a chef?
Definitely the creative process. Traveling and trying different foods from different cultures.
If you weren’t a chef, what else would you be?
A photographer. Another way I could still be creative.
What piece of advice would you give to people who missed the cooking gene?
Everyone should learn how to cook—don’t be afraid to try and cook at home.
What are your long term career plans?
To continuously grow and to enjoy what I do.
The Urban List Team are coming for dinner—what will you be making us?
A 5 course degustation with seasonal ingredients.
Want more? Find out about Soul Bar and Bistro's Head Chef Chris Law.