Iain ‘Huey’ Hewitson reveals his first passion and what led him to culinary fame

Jun 25, 2024
"I was going to be a musician. I was going to be the next Beatle." Source: Getty Images.

Celebrity chef Iain “Huey” Hewitson has revealed the surprising career path he planned to take, recently admitting to fans that food was not his first passion.

The star of Healthy, Wealthy and Wise made the revelation while discussing his latest cooking shows, which have resonated particularly well with his younger YouTube and TikTok audience.

Huey disclosed his deep-seated passion for music, revealing to Nine Honey that he nearly embarked on a successful music career in the late 1960s instead of pursuing culinary arts.

“I was going to be a musician,” he said.

“I was going to be the next Beatle.”

In his youth, Huey dabbled in music, performing with several bands including the psychedelic group Sebastian’s Floral Array and the five-piece band Cellophane.

Cellophane saw some success, winning the New Zealand Battle of the Bands twice and recording a single. Despite gaining attention in the New Zealand music scene, the band eventually disbanded.

As his aspirations of rock stardom faded, Huey, already washing dishes to make ends meet, realised his potential in the culinary world.

Raised with a passion for food, Huey was influenced by his grandmother, a skilled home cook, and later by his brother Don, a maitre’d who introduced him to fine dining.

“My family was always into food. My grandmother was a wonderful cook. I was brought up in a house where food was important,” he said.

“I worked in various kitchens and also I ate out a lot. I realised this was something that I really wanted to do.”

In 1970 he opened his first restaurant in Christchurch and later made a name for himself across the Tasman. The success of his cooking ventures helped Huey make the move into television with producer Gavan Disney, of Hey, Hey It’s Saturday fame, who asked him to appear on a lifestyle show, Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.

That was the start of a 25-year TV career, with Huey going on to host Huey’s Cooking Adventures and Huey’s Kitchen.

Despite his success on television, Huey previously revealed that has had enough of the new generation of celebrity chefs.

In a very frank interview with the Herald Sun, the celebrity chef ranted about Australia’s current TV foodies, labelling them “game show hosts” not cooks.

Manu Feildel, George Calombaris and Gordon Ramsay were all roasted by Hewitson – but he saved his worst serving for ‘Paleo’ Pete Evans.

Evans, who’s famed for pushing his strict paleo diet, was singled out as another example of the new generation.

“He was a very good chef – then he discovered paleo,” he said.

“But whatever rocks your boat. I find that all really weird.”

He also slammed hosts Calombaris and Feildel.

“They are game show hosts, aren’t they? That’s what they are working on. They do nothing for me. Serious chefs are Neil Perry and Kylie Kwong,” he said.




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