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Award-winning “chef to watch” Will Mordido joins Burns & Ferrall

nzchefsplate.org.nz
Published in Sponsored Content · 23 December 2019

Talented, creative and driven, William Mordido has everything it takes to not only be one of New Zealand’s best chefs, but internationally also.     
Talent attracts great opportunities, like the day Will, through his pop up restaurant Buko, was asked to cook for the Prime Minister and the Labour Party’s annual dinner for 230 people at St Matthew’s in the city in June.     
“I was told Jacinda recommended me, which took me by surprise and at the same time I’d just met RATIONAL’s brand manager at the launch of the VarioCookingCenter® (VCC) in Auckland. So, I approached her, asking if RATIONAL would be keen to support the PMs dinner and sponsor the equipment. Luckily she agreed,” says Will.    
“On the night, we had a fully set up kitchen at St Matthew’s, sponsored by RATIONAL and Burns & Ferrall. We used the Burns & Ferrall’s demo kitchen for prep and for my part, we were more than happy to promote RATIONAL’s equipment on our social media.”

At Buko’s pop ups, Will delves into his Filipino heritage, taking inspiration from the flavours and traditions he enjoyed while growing up. He immigrated to NZ with his family when he was 5, and now as an award-winning chef. He melds the food stories of his past with the best NZ produce he can find to create his dishes, which are exciting culinary innovations every time.     
“At the PMs dinner we had about 25 whole eye fillets from Silver Fern Farms on the menu and if we’d cooked them the traditional way, we would have seared the meat whole first, put it in the oven and then someone would monitor it constantly, making sure the fillets were all cooked to the same degree.
“But with the RATIONAL SelfCookingCenter® (SCC), we simply placed the fillets on trays, slid them into the unit, put in the probe and pressed a few buttons. When we came to plate up, every cut of meat was beautifully cooked to medium rare. We knew the results would be consistent with very little monitoring and it didn’t take a skilled chef to supervise because of the probe’s 6 points of accuracy.     
“Because the SCC looks after the monitoring, that allows greater efficiency overall. Chefs can look after the other aspects of the service to ensure everything comes together superbly and it was such a smooth night.”
Burns & Ferrall Director Tony Broome noticed Will’s talent leading up to the event and shoulder tapped him to join the RATIONAL NZ team, which was “a great opportunity,” says Will, and he signed up with B&F a few months later.

He’s now demonstrating the RATIONAL range to prospective clients throughout the country, sharing his skills, insight and passion with a wider hospitality audience, assisting more chefs become the best they can, and helping hospo operators run their kitchens more efficiently.    
Will says smart technology is really liberating for chefs and, “It’s RATIONAL’s intelligent functions that elevate it above the competition. With 55% global market share they’re the top performers, no arguments. RATIONAL’s SCCs heat up faster and are self-cleaning too; fantastic features that help us take better care of our staff.”  
Looking at Will’s career to date, award winning chef and Fiji’s Culinary Ambassador Lance Seeto said, "Young chefs like William are the future of cuisine as they have an understanding of their cultural gastronomy and how to adapt those flavours on to the plate.”  

While in his early 20's, he was an assistant head chef when the awards and accolades started coming his way: he was a Top 10 finalist in the international San Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year 2015 and 2018,  and took Silver at the International Jeunes des Rôtisseurs Competition in Manchester, a first for a NZer in over 40 years – to name just a couple. After leaving his role in 2016 the well-worn path for up and coming culinary talents wasn’t for him. Known for his personal mission to ignore the status quo and consistently innovate in cuisine, “I’m not your traditional chef,” he says, “I have a different way of thinking and I’m creating my own path.”
That path involves playing the long game. He will open his own restaurant one day or at least permanent premises: “I am exploring a few ideas of what that might look like and it’s definitely something I am planning for in the future.”

What came next for Will were several stints in top Melbourne restaurants, then corporate contracts back in Auckland, plus helping run Hospo Start for the Restaurant Association as well as continuing his Buko pop ups. Will also plans to take Buko (which means young coconut) overseas, to highlight the versatility of Filipino flavours through his innovative cuisine. For now, Will is delighted to be on the other side of the pass. “It was difficult to work on my personal goals while working in the kitchen full time. I’m enjoying broadening my networks, improving my admin, people skills, and learning better self-care – which is really important for business owners – and creating new menus for his Buko pop ups. He has another goal too: helping make restaurants and cafés more positive environments to work and through Buko he walks his talk: “I believe if you’re spending 12 hours plus in the kitchen getting ready for a function, you might as well make it a good time, or you probably won’t last in the industry, and young chefs are way more conscious about mental health now which is great. ”   

Consistent with Burns & Ferrall’s own vision of being the innovative heart of hospitality, Tony Broome is excited to have Will on board; “Will is an amazing industry professional who’s now sharing his experience and knowledge with our customers. Burns & Ferrall is well positioned to not only sell products and services, but support our customers with impressive menu development and sound, inspired culinary experience as well.”  



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