Robert Isbister

Meat & Liquor and Frederic's

Robert has been a familiar face around the precinct and Macfarlanes businesses taking up the coveted role of Head Chef at Meat and Liquor and Fredericks he lets us in on the secret to dining at home and what makes the best dish.

Are you from New Plymouth?
Yes, I grew up rurally and one of five children we were homeschooled for all of my childhood.

What made you want to grow up and be a chef?
I got a job at Elixir with Lara and Cohen and as part of the Macfarlanes group, I started out washing dishes and whilst working there was able to undergo an apprenticeship to become a chef.

What makes the perfect dish?
Thought. Local products and in season.

Meat and Liquor and Fredericks tend to utilise local produce is this something you are passionate about?
Absolutely the new menu launching at Meat and Liquor on Tuesday is landscape based which clearly demonstrates produce from the land and season in which we live.

What is your favourite dish on the new menu?
The monkfish with fermented gooseberries. The gooseberries have been foraged by myself and I go out to find.

What you would cook for yourself?
I cannot go past Mee Goreng noodles 2 minutes and they are done. As a chef I think you go through phases of loving cooking at home, right now the best treat would be having someone else cook for me.

What do you do in your spare time?
I have a 5-year-old daughter that keeps me pretty busy!

What are you watching?
Just started watching Modern Family on Lightbox.

How do you get to work?
I walk 15 minutes along the walkway and I am here which is awesome.