Family is really important to me

Hi, I’m Jay!

New to the place a couple of months ago I pulled my camera out and posted a clip to introduce myself.

But this picture really sums me up…

It’s me baking cookies with my niece.  Food and Family… that’s really what’s important to me. It’s family that inspires me to cook. Mum was a Hospo-Queen in her day and Dad was playing in bands around Canterbury and Internationally.  I was always surrounded by hospitality and music. Mum and Dad live in North Canterbury so its amazing to still be so close to them!



Its the people that make the place work

Time has really flown in my first few months here. I really think its because I put my heart and soul into what I do.  So yeah, days and weeks have just flown by!

I’m someone who does things to the fullest, I naturally have lots of energy, but it’s really my team who gives me my fuel!  Writing this blog is a great chance for me to show appreciation for Manish (Head Chef), Kapil (Jr Sous), Haruka, Alex, Charlotte my business partner Kerry and the rest of the team who have shared every moment of this Journey with me – its the people that make the place work in my opinion.

Hard work and dedication to our mission is the key.  And that has never changed in my years working with great people who have lead me here.  Like the Murdoch family at the Carlton (pre and post earthquake) where I soaked up a lot about the business side of hospitality.

We’re on a journey and I really want North Canterbury to join us

If the last 6 months are anything to go by the next 6 months are going to be a blast!

Getting to know what Rangiora and North Canterbury wants from a Restaurant has been a real learning curve for me – which I’ll share in another blog post!  We’re on a journey and I really want North Canterbury to join us.

And the simple answer to any questions about my Journey here so far are –  “I’ve dreamed about this since I was a kid” – fueling a great community with my food.


My Top 3’s


  1. Everything Food!
  2. Golf
  3. Art (I like Drawing), Reading, Documentaries, Shopping (Butcheries, Supermarkets not retail haha)!!

My Important Things

  1. Family
  2. Work / Career
  3. The Future!
  4. Food culture


“Food is an endless Journey – Food is a feeling”

One thing I want people to know about me is that I think food is a feeling..

Let me explain..

For me it’s about using every ingredient to its fullest.. understanding and appreciating food on a spiritual level. Everything that makes up the team and everything we know is driven by a true passion of food.  What I’ve learn’t in my career… from my family..

Working with hundreds of different chefs throughout my career and all the people who inspire me to believe that balance is the key – the balance between flavors and textures.. paintings and sculptures.  Understanding different cuisines, cultures and communities and striving for the best possible product that customers deserve.

Hard work and dedication is the key

I believe its my mission now is to continue to lead my team as the owner of a business. And as part of a growing community I feel like its my role to master getting the balance right.. its not just about making the painting pretty – its about listening to the community.. and translating that onto a plate that can bring friends and family together.  Hard work and dedication to the mission is the key.

Like the great Dwayne the Rock Johnson once said “It’s nice to be important – but its more important to be nice”…

So next time your in Five Stags – feel free to poke your head into the kitchen and say “Hi” to me!

-Sweet 🙂



If you haven’t seen my other posts, take a look below.

  1. Back from a trip to New York – check out the inspiration from New York