Kiwi chef Andy Hearnden represents international brand Wondertree — Emirates Leisure Retail's new destination at the departure hall of Auckland International Airport.
What was your greatest holiday?
I travelled through the south of Spain with eight of my best mates about 10 years ago. We experienced amazing beaches, beautiful people, delicious food, cold beer and travel with a group of good mates.
What more can you ask for?
And the worst?
Paris in the winter of 2007. At the time, I was a chef de partie working in London and had very little money. Paris is a hard city in winter and even harder when you have next to no money to play with. I had been dreaming of Paris for years, building it up in my head, and it was nothing like I had imagined.
You know what they say about meeting your heroes ...
If we bump into you on holiday, what are you most likely to be doing?
Most likely eating or walking around food markets talking to locals about food.
If we could teleport you to one place in NZ for a week-long holiday, where would it be?
Hot Water Beach, on the Coromandel.
How about for a dream holiday internationally?
I would love to go back to Europe with a private jet (you asked me to dream) and do a food tour visiting all the places I worked while I lived there. I'd meet up again with Tom Aikens, visit the Great Eastern Dining Room and The Botanical in London, and then all the new places that have opened since I was last there.
What's the dumbest thing you've ever done when travelling?
I once booked a flight from the wrong city in Spain to get back to London.
Aisle seat or window seat?
Short haul, aisle; long haul, window.
What's the best travel tip you've ever been given?
"Eat where the locals eat." (Anthony Bourdain)
What was the most memorable meal you've had while travelling?
That's a hard one! There have been so many ... Le Gavroche, The Fat Duck, Waterside Inn. More recently Locavore in Ubud, Bali.
What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip?
The authentic Michelin man collectable statue a chef mate gave me in France that sits on my desk in our office in Melbourne, reminding me of mateship and my global travels.
Favourite airport to land at?
Auckland — even though I haven't lived in New Zealand for 12 years, every time I land it feels like I'm home.