Meet the man behind the Brave New Wagyu World - the 2021 Visa Wellington on a Plate burger sensation that took the capital by storm. Reinforced by the huge number of rave reviews and recommendations from food bloggers and festival goers alike.
During the Burger Wellington festival, Huxley’s sold over 4,400 burgers across 30 days. An impressive result as is, the team were stoked to also be announced as a 2021 festival finalist. The burger’s success was no fluke, it didn’t just create itself and it wasn’t conjured up in minutes prior to the festival starting in August. The Huxley’s burger entry was imagined in January 2021 and perfectly-curated over a 6-month period.
Adam considers the Brave New Wagyu World an extension of what he has learned throughout his career as a chef. His experience ranges from Dublin’s high end restaurant scene, including working in Michelin starred kitchens, to working his way up the ladder in Germany, learning about the international industry and honing his culinary craft. In 2014 he started his Kiwi adventure, leaving Ireland for a five star resort in the Marlborough Sounds, where he explored the cuisine of New Zealand and discovered a love for locally sourced produce. In 2016 Adam made the move to Wellington, taking up a role at Egmont Street Eatery. More recently he took on the challenge of opening Huxley’s, working through the massive challenges presented by the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Creating a burger entry for Visa Wellington on a Plate was one of the first tasks that Adam was presented with at Huxley’s. He didn’t want to just create a burger that was different or a little bit out there, but instead a showpiece. With experience in cuisine that ranges from casual to contemporary fine dining, it was important that the burger instilled a sense of luxury, yet remained affordable.
Following the success of the Brave New Wagyu World, Huxley’s has been placed on the culinary map of Wellington, and from here it’s only heading upwards. Huxley’s new menu, launched by Adam in mid November, has been created with a focus on seasonal ingredients. First comes the sampling of the produce, and following that comes the menu creation. As said by Adam, New Zealand is the best country on the planet for produce. The ability to create a menu around the different regions’ first-class seasonal goods is one of the things he loves most about living in the country.
Throughout Adam’s career, he was taught to use all of the product, and stemming from this, Huxley’s has instigated a zero waste system. Rather than throwing out muffins at the end of the day, they are repurposed into crumble, and scones to breadcrumb. The cauliflower roots are made into house pickles, and the unused stalks are used in stocks. As said by Adam, “in every good kitchen you try to use all of the product, all produce is valuable, it makes sense”.
While Adam’s international experience, passion for the culinary industry and greatest locally sourced produce, as well as attention to waste adds a lot to the table, the Huxley’s Head Chef isn’t all that the venue has to boast about. The bar and restaurant is loved for its funky décor and unique view of the capital's most iconic public buildings. And with a covered outdoor dining space opening in the summer of 2021, Huxley’s might just be Wellington’s hottest new spot.
5 questions with Adam:
What are your top three dishes on the new menu?
The wagyu steak, the philly cheese steak and the burrata.
What is your most memorable dining experience?
A place in Galway Ireland called Kai. Both the food and experience were incredible, and it is a mix of the two places I love the most - New Zealand and Ireland.
Which chefs do you look up to?
Marco Pierre Wight, as he is so honest about what he is doing, and Björn Frantzén, who I worked with in Germany for 6 months.
What meal would you make if you were to enter a cooking competition?
Langoustine, emulsion, caviar oil and sea herbs.
Any clues for next year's Visa Wellington On a Plate burger?