Simon Gault: No Half Measures Autobiography

5 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
(1 customer review)


This is the first biography of Simon Gault. Honest and unflinching, his story is a testament to the philosophy that half measures are for recipes only.

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Simon Gault: No Half Measures, with Kim Knight

‘You hear people saying, “He died doing something he loved”. I do not want to die in an aeroplane. That warning light I can see on the dashboard means metal has been detected in the engine. If the chip detector is reading correctly, I have a potentially serious situation. Just how serious is becoming quickly, and scarily, obvious.’

 – Simon Gault

 When you think of Simon Gault it is natural to think first of his legendary skills in the kitchen. You may have eaten at his restaurants Bell House, Euro, Jervois Steak House, Gault’s on Quay or Giraffe, or seen him on television where he hosted Why Are We Fat? and Chef on a Mission. He was a judge on multiple seasons of MasterChef New Zealand as well as trying his hand at many other career moves and business ventures. He’s certainly reinvented himself many times, which somewhat begs the question, who is the real Simon Gault?

Restaurant critic and award-winning journalist Kim Knight has delved deep into the mind and heart of Simon Gault in this honest and compelling biography. For anyone in hospitality, managing a business or contemplating starting their own business, there is much wisdom to be found in the pages of this book.

Simon Gault: No Half Measures begins at breakneck speed with Simon indulging his other great passion besides food; flying a plane. This is but the first of many surprising facts about Simon that you may not have known about him before.

Simon talks about his influences, including the formidable chef Tony Astle and how Simon learnt to step out of the kitchen and into the limelight by marketing guru Kevin Roberts. We follow his business ventures — from opening his first restaurant at age 22 to becoming a successful businessman with his name on stocks, seasonings, cookware and cocktails and find out about the tomato ketchup venture that nearly broke him.

We learn of Simon’s health scare where he confronts Type-2-diabetes and, in turn, teaches other to learn how to shed kilos, in the pursuit of a longer life. Simon also opens up about his past relationships, becoming a solo dad, and his one true love; his daughter Hazel, who gave his last restaurant, Giraffe its name, before he stepped out of the kitchen and onto new ventures. Featured throughout the book are special recipes that have impacted Simon’s life.

Simon takes us around the world from cooking in Thornbury castle in the UK, to having a 20-course meal in New Orleans, to cooking in a villa in Italy, and his experiences cooking for the rich and famous on a superyacht.

Simon says, ‘The driving force for this episode of my life is my daughter, Hazel. When I was offered the opportunity to document my journey it seemed a solution that would ensure Hazel had a fact checker against any flights of fancy I tried to get away with in the future. There is nothing more motivating than supportive family and friends. These supporters have always been there to bolster my resolve during the bad patches and share the bubbles when things go well. Champagne and good friends are meant for each other, and I remain ever grateful for both.’


Kim Knight’s love of food was nurtured by her home-cooking mum and cake-decorating grandma. She’s reported for the Greymouth Evening Star, Timaru Herald, Sunday Star-Times, and the New Zealand Herald, has a Masters in Gastronomy and, after working on this book, is 100% better at cooking chicken.

1 review for Simon Gault: No Half Measures Autobiography

  1. 5 out of 5


    A great read – wow what a life

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Simon Gault: No Half Measures Autobiography
Simon Gault: No Half Measures Autobiography