Staff Spotlight - Fabrizio Ferla

This extremely talented Italian arrived in New Zealand three years ago and made his way to Queenstown.  He has a passion for food which has stemmed from his friends and family.  Keep reading to find out what makes our Millhouse Restaurant Chef strive for excellence and what the inspiration was behind Fabrizio’s new tasting menu – Flavours of the Millhouse.

5 Dec 2019

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What inspired you to become a chef?


I grew up watching my parents cook at home and the passion and enjoyment it brought to them. My parents were great cooks and we had a lot of meals at home or with friends and extended family, which was always a joyous affair.  Food has always been a big part of my life but it was more about the enjoyment food brought to my family.  In Italy you decide what profession you would like to pursue at 14 years of age.  I decided to go to cooking school for five years which is a combination of high school and cooking school. I also started working in restaurants from an early age to earn some money as my parents wouldn’t give me pocket money and I really wanted a vespa!



What is your passion in the kitchen?


My passion is the flavours, learning new techniques, food trends and using different equipment.  Every dish we do at the Millhouse has new ideas, components and techniques which means you are always challenging yourself to ensure that the next dish is even better. The thing I love about my job most is that everything is always changing and my passions change with it.  My passion is about the journey and the people, from our suppliers to our chefs and how we use our produce for the customer and trying to do my bit to help influence sustainable practices - not only in our kitchen but the people we work with, sharing the same values.



What are you the most excited about with the launch of the new menu?


The journey, the relationships and the people all coming together to let me work with the best produce possible and being able to transform them into what you can see and taste.

From start to finish we are involved in every step. We have a close relationship with each of our handpicked suppliers, to Jen in Millbrook’s Kitchen Garden and Orchard, our foragers and our plate maker. Together we work on this incredible journey that ends up in our restaurant for your dinning pleasure.


What is your favourite ingredient and why on the new menu?

Lovage which is grown in Millbrook’s Kitchen Garden.  This herb is unknown but when you eat it the herb it gives you the wowwwwww factor!  It is also a versatile herb which can be used with meat, fish and desserts.


What drives you on as a chef?

The opportunity to showcase my passion and my culinary art on a plate.  I love that all of the people that have worked together to make the dish are on the plate in some fashion - from the farmers, fishermen and foragers, to the artist who has hand made our beautiful plates. Everything comes together on the plate which guests love, and it gives great appreciation and joy to everyone who was involved in the journey


An inspiring quote.

“Limitations breeds creativity” from Douglas McMaster- Chef.

His restaurant SILO in Brighton, England produces zero waste and this is what we are striving for and working towards in the Millhouse Restaurant.

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