Rendezvous on the menu

By Carolyne Meng-Yee

Grayson Coutts and boyfriend Andy at home in Ponsonby. Photo / Doug Sherring
Grayson Coutts and boyfriend Andy at home in Ponsonby. Photo / Doug Sherring

Young celebrity chef Grayson Coutts went for dinner with his visiting dad this week - but spoke of his dream that one day his yachting legend father would also meet his longtime partner, Andy Young.

Chiselled Grayson and his father Russell Coutts may look startlingly similar, but they could barely be more different.

Grayson, 21, has been competing on the television cook-off show, New Zealand's Hottest Home Baker. His dad, he says, could burn toast.

Russell Coutts has won the America's Cup for three different nations. Grayson hates boats.

Russell lives with his wife and three children in a French alpine villa with about eight bedrooms.

Grayson lives in a semi-detached Herne Bay house with his partner of several years - whom his father has never quite managed to meet.

But this week, Russell was back in town for a regatta - so Grayson baked him a congratulatory vanilla layer cake with chocolate frosting and ganache.

And a few days later, Russell reciprocated by taking his son for dinner at Prego on Ponsonby Rd.

Russell isn't much chop in the kitchen himself.

"I went camping with him once when I was about eight years old, which was an interesting experience," Grayson says.

"We went tramping at Waikaremoana, and he cooked baked beans on toast, which made me sick. I definitely don't get my cooking skills from dad."

But then, he didn't inherit the sporting skills either.

"I have been whacked with the boom more times than you would believe, probably because I am just so unco-ordinated. They'd say, 'duck', and I'd say, 'for what?'"

The big question, of course, is what Grayson's sporting father thinks of his son being gay.

"There's nothing to hide or be ashamed of or proud of, just because your dad is a celebrity. It's one of those things, like being gay, straight or whatever.

"He definitely tells me he is very proud of what I have achieved, with uni, my house, my job, my partner."

So, will he and Andy manage to co-ordinate their schedules to meet one day? "I am sure he will - hopefully soon."

- Herald on Sunday

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