Seeing the world showed Kyle Street there's no place like home

Travel has taught me that we have it bloody good here in little old New Zealand.

"Every chef must travel the world" is what I was always told, a common rite of passage for young chefs to develop their palates and mind. I had coveted the international food I'd seen for years on television and in books.

French cuisine was my obsession when I first travelled solo around the world in 2008. Cassoulet, duck confit, these were wondrous dishes with such rich history that no New Zealand dish could hold a candle to, or so I thought.

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Sadly, I found the cuisine was cavalier, prepared with an arrogance and it wasn't regarded with the same admiration that I had held for so many years.

Thankfully, the real flavour was found in the markets and stalls without white table cloths and all that pretence. This was an epiphany for me, something I carried back with me into everything I do.

Culprit chef-owner Kyle Street, who will be appearing at this year's Taste of Auckland festival. Photo / Supplied
Culprit chef-owner Kyle Street, who will be appearing at this year's Taste of Auckland festival. Photo / Supplied

We have it bloody good here; we respect other cuisines and have locals and immigrants that do them darn well. Our own voice is rising in the international food scene and we are gaining access to more and more of the world-class product our land and sea produce.

Kyle Street is chef-owner of Culprit and Lowbrow, and will be one of the special guests at this year's Taste of Auckland, at Queen's Wharf between October 31 and November 3. Tickets from $25. tasteofauckland.co.nz