I’m really rapt with how my latest book, Depot: Biography of a Restaurant, has turned out. I spent the better part of six months writing it, and for the most part, found the writing process pretty enjoyable. I put this down to writing about a period of my life that is still relatively fresh in my mind, and one that has been a very exhilarating three years.

My restaurant, Depot: Eatery & Oyster Bar, opened in Auckland in August 2011, on the cusp of the explosion of the hospitality scene that happened around the Rugby World Cup. They were ‘heady’ days as the city was inundated with players, coaches, and fans from all over the world. Depot went ‘gang busters’ practically from the first day we opened the doors, and luckily for us that has continued on, and we seem to hold our own in the exciting and varied Auckland ‘hospo’ scene.

When my publisher, Random House NZ, first approached me with the idea of writing a book about Depot, I wondered whether a restaurant that had only been open three years warranted a whole book. However, the more I thought about it the keener I became on the idea of sharing the back-story of Depot. What resulted is a 70 recipe book covering all of the dishes produced by head chef, Kyle Street, and his team since we opened, along with 40,000 words from me about what (I think) makes a restaurant successful; the vision, the philosophy, the food, the service, and the incredible team of staff who run this successful and high-octane restaurant. The book is beautifully designed by Gary Stewart, and includes some pretty epic photography by the talented Kieran Scott.

It’s my view that every book needs a good launch, to celebrate the effort of so many individuals part in the process of making it. Below are a bunch of snaps (courtesy of Cam McLaren) from the party held at my HQ test kitchen on the night we released this handsome book!