Al Brown is recognised around the world as a leading New Zealand Chef and Restauranteur, but his business acumen and commercial successes extend further than those restaurant walls.
Al is an entrepreneur in the true sense of the word. Alongside his successes in the running a multi-faceted business, he is a natural storyteller who thrives on the sentiment of ‘people and place’, and a person of genuine authenticity, creativity and generosity.
1n 2010, after over 10 years at the helm of the award-winning Wellington restaurant Logan Brown, Al moved north to Auckland. He opened ‘Depot’ in 2011, a restaurant that gave the Auckland and New Zealand hospitality scene something new and innovative.
Depot has been an unprecedented success, winning Metro Restaurant of the Year in 2012 and 2015, and has featured in both the Metro and Cuisine magazine Top 50 since opening over a decade ago, also 2021 Trip Advisor Top 10% Worldwide, and Metro Top 10 Iconic Eats.
Soon after the opening of Depot and inspired by his travels overseas and his passion for people, cultures and communities, Al opened ‘Federal Delicatessen’ in 2013. ‘The Fed’ is Al’s take on an old-school New York Jewish Delicatessen and is a testament to his innovation, cultural respect and creativity.
Alongside ‘The Fed’, Al created ‘Best Ugly Bagels’. These authentic Montreal-style wood-fired bagels are now found in eight branches in Auckland and Wellington and in many outlets around New Zealand, recognised again not only for great taste, but by fun and thought-provoking brand and design.
Al’s drive to succeed and his commercial and creative vision, does not end with hospitality venues.
Over the last 15 years, thousands of viewers watched Al entertain and educate them with his popular television shows including the ground-breaking four seasons of ‘Hunger for the Wild’, followed by ‘Coasters’, ‘Get Fresh’, ‘Dishing Up Australia’ and ‘Masterchef.
Avid readers and passionate cooks of all levels have been inspired by the stories and recipes found in his beautifully crafted books; ‘Hunger for the Wild’; ‘Coasters’; ‘Get Fresh’; ‘Go Fish - recipes and stories from the New Zealand coast’; ’Stoked – cooking with fire’; ‘Depot – biography of a restaurant’; ‘Eat Up New Zealand’.
Countless homes have Al’s unique products on their shelves, each created with great taste, generosity and a fun, welcoming brand. ‘Old Yella’ Habanero Mustard; ‘Simply Red’ Kasundi Ketchup; ‘Good Joe’ Coffee and Drinking Chocolate; Al Brown Meat Patties and Meat Balls; Slider Buns, and Infused Olive Oils.
In 2021, in partnership with Constellation Brands, Al launched ‘Tipping Point’ wines, producing six varietals of wine including an award winning Rosé. Alongside these great wines, Al co-produced an online series under the same name which was hosted on the Stuff.co.nz platform. The series helped to profile the New Zealand charities who benefit from the sales of Tipping Point wines.
Al values aligning himself with people, organisations and brands he feels a strong connection with.