Jake Morrissey is the experienced chef behind Point Bistro37 at Northcote Tavern and the great food it serves. We popped in for a chat with him just as the kitchen was about to get a makeover in May – he’s excited to have a brand spanking new one opening in early June.
AIDAN BENNETT: Tell us about your background.
JAKE MORRISSEY: I was born in Brighton, and went to London at the age of 16 where I trained as a chef. I did a three year apprenticeship at Escargot Restaurant in Soho.
AB: What brought you to New Zealand?
JM: Love. I met my wife – a Kiwi – in London and followed her back 15 years ago. We now have two kids, aged 10 and 14.
AB: How long have you been here?
JM: I’m in my seventh year here with Point Bistro37. I met with Billy and Kim when they were looking for a new food offering and the rest is history. I love it here.
I have opened kitchens at quite a few new pubs. Prior to this one I set up the Postman’s Leg in Glenfield and Citizen Park in Kingsland.
AB: What do you love about the tavern?
JM: It’s honest. It is what it is – a good honest traditional pub that’s a popular part of the community.
AB: You must be thrilled with the reputation you have established for your food at the tavern?
JM: Yes, this really goes hand in hand with the overall standing of the place. We are hitting the targets with the food – good, honest, home-cooked pub food that we push the boundaries a bit with. Our Sunday roasts are as popular as they are in English pubs. Our pies are something special as well. We like to expand and experiment with our flavours and pastries.
AB: The kitchen is closing for a refit. What is being done?
JM: Billy and Kim built the kitchen about 25 years ago when they bought the pub. It really was overdue for a refit and we had outgrown it. We have three chefs and a team of 10 in total now.
The bones will be very much the same but we will be increasing work space so we can continue to push the boundaries more and allow the team to be more creative.
PointBistro37 at Northcote Tavern
– Open for Lunch and Dinner from 11am until 9pm 7 Days.