“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
Meet The Chef
Russell grew up on farm in the northern Wairarapa. His appreciation of great food started in those early days and little did he realise he was learning what is now very on trend – cooking garden to plate "cooking seasonally makes sense as the flavours are at their best, and it keeps the food costs down".
Russell left his farming roots to further his studies at Victoria Uni in Wellington. While studying he applied for a part time job at the then Park Royal, which ended up shaping his future. He found his passion in cooking and trained as a saucier and so his food journey began.
In no time at all Russell travelled to Australia, settled in Melbourne and worked for the next 4 years in several popular Melbourne restaurants. His hard work and enthusiasm saw him climb the ranks to become a Head chef. On the move again in the early 90’s Russell decided to move on and travelled to the UK where again started working his way up from the bottom in one of London’s trendiest restaurants (Kensington Place). It didn't take long for him to work his way up in various popular restaurants working as Head Chef at one of London's oldest Institutions, Bertorellis and finally Executive Chef at the National Gallery. Further training and experience were also gained by travelling to the South of France and the Highlands of Scotland where he was hired as a personal chef to the rich and famous, including royalty.
All this amazing experience gave Russell the confidence to open his own restaurant /delicatessen in the heart of Mayfair. He was the first to pioneer the restaurant/deli style in London. His style of casual relaxed restaurant become a trend, and it is exciting to reflect that Russell’s cooking style was instrumental in new and innovative dining styles. The Restaurant quickly become the local’s favourite as well as a destination restaurant. Over the years it developed a following and catered for many private functions and events for some of London’s “it” crowd.
With a young family and the changes in London the green pastures of home were calling. It wasn’t hard decision to say goodbye to a daily 4 hour commute and missing out on time with his family.
Moving back to the Wairarapa has been like coming full circle. Russell together with his partner Louise have now set up Brasserie 74 and are enjoying creating amazing dishes for locals and visitors to the Wairarapa region. They look forward to their new restaurant becoming the local’s favourite – just like they had in the UK.
Bar Snacks & Social Plates
Join us for a drink after work and check out our bar snacks. We also have a small selection of small plates you can share with friends.
Selection of Juno Olives
Dukkah & our homemade white sourdough
Salt & Pepper Squid
"Russell plated up over 50 Beef Wgtn portions to half our guests at the Greytown School "On YA Bike" fundraiser last Saturday night and the rest had a delicious chicken rissotto (lots more favourable comments from the tables). I was lucky enough to get the beef Wgtn and cannot fault the way Russell made and presented it to the table. It was devine and melt in your mouth tender." May 2019
"thank you for last night Russell. It was great working with Louise, Kyle and you, and wonderful to know the food we were serving was bloody good!! It was fun professional and profitable, so we can all feel good. Cheers Rusty"
"It looks like a cafe but they are open for dinner also. The four mains we had were very very good, the salmon and lamb rump were particularly well prepared. The chef clearly know what he is doing."