From Chef to Farmer: Celebrating land + livestock with Brett Frew

From Chef to Farmer: Celebrating land + livestock with Brett Frew

Brett Frew is a man who has transitioned from the fast-paced world of professional cooking to the more rhythmic life of sheep farming in the serene Otapiri Gorge. 

As a farmer with a chef's soul, Frew celebrates National Lamb Day by grilling a thousand lamb chops, for the public to enjoy at the Southern Field Days 

The conversation covers his passion for both cooking and farming, highlighting his dual passions for quality food and the great outdoors. 

Frew reminisces about his previous career as a chef, which spanned over a decade in various cities like Queenstown, Auckland, and Christchurch. 

His transition to farming was motivated by a desire for more personal time and the outdoors.

"I did a good stint indoors in the kitchen, but just wanted time to raise my children and be out in the fresh air," he says.

Despite the move, Frew hasn't left his culinary roots behind. He blends his love for food with his farming lifestyle, noting the satisfaction of cooking his farm's produce.

 "Lamb isn't worth a huge amount of money at the moment, but we can... ride out these waves and enjoy it on the way past, cook some of it yourself over some manuka or something, and it's just the magic."

Beyond agriculture, Frew's farm serves as an event venue and BMX track, adding depth to his connection with the land and community. 

The conversation touches on the broader agricultural climate, particularly the low lamb prices at the time of recording. Frew, however, chooses to focus on the positive, emphasising the joy of sharing and cooking food with others.

Listen to the full chat between Brett Frew and Dominic George above.

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