It was studio 54. Sex, drugs, rock and roll, and Bollinger at $20 a bottle - Club Mirage in Auckland was the place to be. Run by entrepreneur and socialite Emerald Gilmour, the glitz and glam of the era still elicits fond memories from those who lived through that time. For most of her life Mimi Gilmour says she has been "Emerald Gilmour's daughter", but the 31-year-old is proving she too has the ability to be a hospitality queen.
Gilmour is the brains behind popular restaurant chains Mexico and Burger Burger in Ponsonby.
Dressed in black, Mimi sits at a table surrounded by flowers and pictures, maps and posters. The shiny black Jaguar XE outside is the only real giveaway of Mimi's business standing. The car is a gift from Jaguar who have chosen her to be their New Zealand brand ambassador - she is still pinching herself.
Slightly dyslexic, school was never really her thing but Gilmour has always had a business mind.
"My father's a doctor but he worked in the entrepreneurial aspect of that so he's had a lot of businesses and encouraged the business aspect and the hospitality has definitely come from my mother," Mimi says.
"I've always done small projects along the way. My mum - mother, she'll kill me if I call her mum - always just said if I wanted to do something then I would just do it. There was never any doubt, I just thought I could. And things have worked out," she says.
"I'm quite fearless but I think you have to be - there has to be an element of blindness otherwise if you tried to figure everything out you would never get anywhere."
It is clear the Gilmours are a close family. Mimi credits her mother with teaching her to cook and it was helping with her parents' dinner parties that led to her first business venture - helping cater for other dinner parties, hiring friends to help as it grew.
After studying for a fine arts degree at Elam and working for chef Mark Wallbank for four or five years, Gilmour moved to Sydney where she opened her first restaurant - District Dining. She expanded the restaurant to a branch in Auckland, moving back for a role as creative director for food festival Taste at The Cloud in 2011.
She meant to stay only a few months but four years later New Zealand is still home. Starting one of the most popular restaurant chains in Auckland has helped keep her here.
Gilmour sold her stake in the Mexico chain last year before opening Burger Burger in Ponsonby.
Although she has achieved a lot, Gilmour is far from finished.
"I have really long-term goals," she says.
"I want to change the way that hospitality is viewed as a career. It's not for everyone and it doesn't have to be a career job but hospitality teaches amazing skills that I think really translate into other jobs too."
Another restaurant chain is on the cards for next year.
Despite the success, Gilmour says she has had her share of mistakes.
A common slip-up in business is trying to manage areas outside your expertise, she says.
"The smartest thing I ever did was realise that the cost of paying someone who is a professional to do the financials far outweighs the cost of me trying to struggle my way through it and do a terrible job. So I'm very aware of the financial side but I don't manage it," she says.
"The other big thing is you are only as good as the people around you and that work within the business. I can keep opening restaurants and coming up with great ideas but if I don't have the people around me to deliver on that then there's not really any point."
Gilmour grew up with a love of food and cooking.
She says every night her family would sit down for dinner together, and those times - whether laughing or arguing - have stuck with her.
Gilmour's latest role with Jaguar is a testament to her success.
Jaguar New Zealand marketing manager James McKee says: "As a businesswoman, Mimi Gilmour has pushed the boundaries of what is possible and led exceptional change in her industry at a young age, and in a short space of time."
Mimi may have started as the daughter of Emerald Gilmour in a time of glitz and glam but she is building her own legacy through a successful business career and restaurant stable - and it's a safe bet she's got plenty of ideas still cooking.
• 31 years old.
• Co-founder of Mexico restaurants and Burger Burger.
• Completed a fine arts degree at Elam.
• Daughter of hospitality queen Emerald Gilmour.
• Sister of Sophie Gilmour who co-founded Bird on a Wire.
I've had so many but probably getting the restauranteur of the year award at the hospitality awards in Auckland. They're voted for by your peers.
Toughest thing you've ever done?
Deciding to leave a company that I loved and start again. That was with Mexico.
Trust your gut instincts.
Favourite way to relax?
Going out to dinner with my friends and family.
A weekend at Waiheke or Matakana with family and friends.
I've just finished Diane Foreman's book In the Arena. It's really good and I think it's good that someone has written something that's relatable and practical and gives some good advice.