STYLE Insider: Nook’s Jordan MacDonald Talks Hospitality Empires, Cookbooks and Dream Dinner Guests

From Culprit, to Lowbrow, Little Culprit and now Nook the Restauranteur duo Jordan MacDonald and Kyle Street are taking over Auckland’s restaurant scene. We caught up with MacDonald, chef and co-owner to hear about his new eatery, culinary lessons and dream dinner guests. 

If I had to describe myself in two sentences… I’m foremost a dad to two beautiful girls while also being a chef and restauranteur. I’m passionate about hospitality, love cooking and being creative.

Nook is… Something I’ve personally wanted to do for a long time. It’s quirky, cool and unique. In that way it’s similar to our other spots as we love a quirky unique vibe. Nook is based around Yakitori and has an Izakaya late night drinking vibe to it, which is worlds apart from the style of food at Lowbrow and Culprit. Our style of yakitori is different to others you find in Auckland, we do our best to make everything in house, bold flavours with our signature twist and saucey. My fiancé is always going on about sauce I guess she’s drilled that into me.

In the future, you can expect me doing… Nothing for a while. Time to sit on our hands and focus on my babies I’ve got now, my two girls and the other 5 restaurant babies.

A kitchen rule I always break… Never season your meat too early. I always season my meat early and its always delicious

A kitchen rule I would never break… Don’t run with knives.

My go-to dish at the end of a long day… Takeaways from Lowbrow. But if I’m being sensible and cooking it’ll be pork larb and then a second meal for my daughter who’s somewhat fussy and that’ll be either chicken schnitzel or lasagne.

The best culinary lesson I’ve learned is… Taste taste taste. Season season season.

In five years I see myself… With a couple more restaurants, maybe another child but definitely with my gorgeous family and hopefully have the ability to be at home a bit more.

A song I have on repeat right now… Tide up right now by Parcels

Books or podcasts… No time for novels unfortunately, but cookbooks are my jam.

One thing I can’t put down… I have a huge collection of cookbooks, the latest one is A Very Serious Cook Book from the guys at Contra / Wildair, it’s such a good read.

A Very Serious Cook Book: Contra Wildair, credit: Phaidon

If I could have dinner with any person on earth, it would be… Matty Matheson. That would be an indulgent, entertaining and interesting meal.

My favourite place to dine in New Zealand… Apero and Cazador.

My go-to coffee spot is… Red rabbit roasters in Parnell. Everyday.

When I was a kid I wanted to be… A chef, glad that one worked itself out.  


Shop 11, 183 Karangahape Road, Auckland.

Opening hours
Wednesday- Fri 12pm til late.
Saturday & Sunday 4pm til late.

How to remedy stressed skin according to an expert

Stress can wreak havoc on our health and unfortunately, own skin’s not immune to stress. Here’s how to remedy stressed skin according to a skincare expert.

If your skin has been causing you grief over the last few weeks, you’re not alone. Emma Hobson, skin expert and Dermalogica’s director of education Asia Pacific, admits she’s been busy fielding phone calls from friends and family asking for advice on an array of skin concerns. “Everyone seems to be breaking out at the moment,” Hobson says.

According to Hobson stress has a pesky way of showing up on our skin. “It’s a challenging time for everyone,” Hobson says. “It’s a stressful time and we know that the moment your skin gets stressed it gets into trouble.” Unfortunately, stress on the skin can trigger a vicious cycle, explains Hobson. “When your skin is bad and you look in the mirror you just don’t feel happy and that can cause more stress.”

There are a number of ways that stress can make itself apparent on our complexions, explains Hobson. “You can get a lot of side effects of stress on the skin,” she says. An impaired barrier function is a sign that skin is suffering and can lead to a whole host of problems. “Increased sensitivity, breakouts, dehydration, premature ageing, puffiness and dark circles are a few of the things you might notice,” Hobson says.

Hobson believes that our increased exposure to blue light – which emanates from devices including computers, smartphones and tablets – could be contributing to skin flare-ups. It’s true that many of us are spending more time in front of various screens than normal, which could, according to Hobson be impairing our skin’s barrier function and exposing us to more free radicals. “Our skin is taking a bit of a hit at the moment.”

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to remedy common skin problems if your skin is bearing the brunt of stress, says Hobson. “A really good skincare regimen is vital right now as being able to support your skin with the right products is going to make a huge difference,” she explains. Cleansing is the pillar of any great skincare routine, and while it might be tempting to skip your twice-daily cleansing ritual if you don’t wear much make-up, Hobson advises against making this common mistake. Hobson is a firm believer in the double-cleansing method regardless of whether you wear make-up or not. “Cleansing is more important when you have a disturbed barrier. Don’t skip it just because you’re not wearing make-up.”

Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask; Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum; Murad Prebiotic 4-in-1 Cleanser.

And while winter is on the way and most of us are indoors more than before, Hobson says now is not the time to skimp on sunscreen. “Quite a few people aren’t using their sunscreens as often as they should be. We still actually need to protect the skin with sunscreen,” she says. “You need to be screening free-radicals and blue light; plus we are still going outside.” Hobson says many of us are working close to windows which means that harmful UV rays are still hitting our skin. “We mustn’t forget about defending our skin with an SPF.”

If your complexion is missing your regular professional skincare treatment, Hobson says there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be doing great DIY treatments on your skin at home. “There are different things you can do. You can even have a therapist do an online skin consultation and online DIY classes on how to look after skin.” Hobson says a great at-home peel – her favourite is Dermalogica’s Rapid Reveal Peel – is one of the closest things you can get to a professional treatment. “Your skin will glow, it improves hydration, texture, discolouration and relieves breakouts. A good professional peel at home will improve the health of skin.”