|Emma Mettrick and Welshman Paul Howells met working in Galway, Ireland in 2007.
On returning to/being dragged to New Zealand they set up the Little Bistro in Akaroa in 2010.
Post quakes, a longing to return to Emma’s home town Christchurch meant selling up and opening Twenty Seven Steps in August 2015.
Here’s 10 questions with Emma Mettrick, for this Member Spotlight.
What made you decide to go into the industry / what gave you your first start in hospitality?
I managed to get a summer job at the Astrolabe in Akaroa working for Tui and Mike Joblin when I was 16. I then continued working throughout school, uni and then travelling and just didn’t stop. I realised I loved it.
What inspires you?
People mainly. Also trying to make my son Finn proud of me and what we do (my attempts at the floss haven’t).
What do you love about the hospitality industry?
Again people! Every day you are dealing with different folks – suppliers, customers, winemakers, co-workers et al. Every day is slightly different and you never quite know what is around the corner.
What are your key challenges?
Dealing with immigration over the years. Some logic in the process would be helpful.
What is the secret to your success?
What is success?! We are just doing what we know, touch wood it continues.
What is the best piece of advice you have received to date in your hospitality career?
The best piece is actually the piece I’ve ignored “there are easier ways to make money” Money should never be your driver.
What one piece of advice would you give to people starting out in the industry?
Believe it is a real job.
What do you think makes NZ Hospitality unique?
There are still lots of passionate owner/operators and direct access to great produce/producers is getting easier.
Which restaurants are on your dining bucket list?
Ahh so many! Where to start. In NZ Hiakai and Pasture but then there are many newly opened places in Otautahi too. I need to get out more!
What do you do to relax?
What is that?! Cooking but then that isn’t relaxing when my son doesn’t appreciate my weird dinner creations. Also walking my dog and drinking wine with my girl gang.