Steve Beere started his career in the food industry almost by accident, working part-time as a kitchen hand while completing a PADI diving instructors course. Subsequently training as a chef at the Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawkes Bay, he worked at various Hawkes Bay restaurants, including Taradale’s popular Marie La Rose, the County Hotel and the iconic Bayswater.
A brief stint at Wellington’s Park Royal saw him back in the Bay, joining Mission Estate Winery Restaurant as head chef, assisting in the design and development of the new kitchen during the Mission’s renovations, and continuing as executive chef for several years. Steve has also cooked as a guest chef in Vanuatu, and the prestigious Hong Kong Football Club, and recently worked in the local wine industry prior to opening Mint Restaurant with his wife Ruth in April 2011.
Growing up Steve was inspired by his mother’s cooking and was fascinated by baking and preserving which was a way of life during his childhood. Steve is indebted to two mentors who changed his view of food; chef-owner of the iconic Bayswater Bistro, Vicki Bruhns-Bolderson, who instilled in him the idea that food is not merely fuel but art; and Robert Dennis who was Steve’s tutor at Hawkes Bay Polytech for giving him the foundation, structure and exceptional technique and discipline to find his feet in the kitchen.
Every time Steve develops a dish he is always mindful of classical flavours, textures and presentation and as a result something new always evolves from that foundation or technique, reframed for the present-day palate. Steve has been fortunate enough to work in a range of culinary environments before owning and operating his own restaurant, Mint and says the ultimate reward is the unlimited freedom and creativity to cook what he wants for his guests using as much locally sourced produce as possible.