A Life in Travel: The Grove and Baduzzi celebrity chef Michael Dearth

The US-born, Auckland-based chef reveals his favourite memories from his life in travel.

What are your strongest memories from the first overseas trip you ever took?

I was 20, and I travelled from my home in the US to Australia, Southeast Asia and New Zealand. What stands out for me is it was a trip where I didn’t know whether I was going to be gone for two months or two years. This was my first time outside the United States and towards the end of my two years of intense travels, I immediately fell in love with New Zealand. I truly understood the concept of Tūrangawaewae. New Zealand spoke to my heart and I knew this is where I needed to live.

What was a standard family holiday like when growing up?

Our family trip was usually camping somewhere in New England in the Northeast US because it was the cheapest way to entertain a large family. Although in good years a family favourite was staying at a small beach house in Rhode Island. The sounds of waves crashing and fog horns affect me deeply to this day, from summers spent there.

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