Hospitality guru Mimi Gilmour Buckley on Positano and Finneas

Many know Mimi Gilmour Buckley as the powerhouse hospitality name behind Burger Burger. Her entrepreneurial spirit has seen a new breed of casual dining emerge with more than half a million diners known to pass through her doors each year, and with the sixth Burger Burger having recently taken up residence in Commercial Bay’s new shopping precinct, Gilmour is certainly not resting on her laurels. An inspiration to many, the restaurateur and CEO takes a moment out of her hectic schedule to share what, in turn, inspires her.

My personal style can be defined by: Classic & comfortable. I have a hideous weak spot for anything cashmere and if I need to jazz myself up I love a fab earring and a classic heel. 

The last thing I bought and loved was: My new Yu Mei ‘Rebecca’ bag in Seaweed. Jessie from Yu Mei has just open her first Auckland store in Commercial Bay & I must have walked passed and looked at the bags 10 times before I thought “F**k it, I totally deserve to celebrate our recent wins and support local!”  I love that she’s an ambitious bizzo gal with global dreams. I’m 100% behind that. 


An unforgettable place I visited was: Positano – I went to one of my best friend’s weddings with my husband, Stephen. It was a three-day dream filled with Aperol Spritzes and floral dresses. Everyone was chic and floaty and Italian and fabulous. 

An object I would never part with is: I have a cabinet in my living room which I call my treasure chest. It’s filled with all my favourite things – items I’ve collected while travelling, photos of my favourite people and special pieces like my Grandfather’s pounamu.  

The last thing I added to my wardrobe was: The ‘Felix’ dress from Marle. I have it in both colours. A good 80% of my wardrobe is Marle – I’m a sucker for a clever woman doing what she loves and my friend Juliet, who started Marle, is just that. She makes beautiful, effortless clothes for real women. 

The design (building, person, item) that inspires me is: I’m really inspired by Commercial Bay, where we just opened our sixth Burger Burger. The people behind Commercial Bay really believe in Auckland and have an awesome vision for the future of our city. I’m into it. 

Jessica McCormack

On my wish list is: Anything Jessica McCormack… Dreams are free (as are hints… I hope my husband reads this!).

I’m also very inspired by my clever friends. My dream is to have a house designed by Bureaux which is run by two of my best friends, Maggie Carrol and Jessica Walker, and then have a second building on the property (LOL ‘on the property’ – big dreams around here!) designed by another best friend, Nat Cheshire. That building would be a creative studio for moi and a gym for Stevo. 

My favourite app is: Instagram. I’m a visual person and Instagram is my opportunity to escape into the world of possibility. I’ve also recently become obsessed with Co-Star, an app that gives you realtime horoscopes. 

An indulgence I would never forgo is: Facials with Kate at Skinography. I truly believe she has magic hands. A facial with her is the greatest stress relief on the planet, emotionally and physically. I always feel like a new woman afterward. 

Eagles Nest

Next place I’d like to go to: I’d love to go to an indulgent Kiwi lodge like The Farm at Cape Kidnappers or Eagle’s Nest in the Bay of Islands for a well-deserved weekend away… The last date my husband and I had was in Positano three years ago! 

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city it would be: Ponsonby, because it’s my village, or SoHo in New York. 

My style icon is: Jessica McCormack – She has an effortlessly chic style that I adore all whilst being the mother to three small boys, championing NZ wherever she can and humbly creating and nurturing an insanely fabulous jewellery business.  Doesn’t get much sexier than that!

The best book I’ve read in the last year is: Maybe not surprisingly, it’s a cookbook – ‘A Modern Way to Cook’ by Anna Jones. Although I’m not a vegetarian her books are. She writes beautifully and her food is simple and soul-nourishingly delicious.  Her one pot tomato pasta will change your life. 

I can’t miss an episode of: I’m not a huge TV watcher, but I’ve just discovered Lenox Hill, a Netflix series about a New York hospital. I also really like watching Restaurants On The Edge, though I’m quite impatient so normally I fast forward to the end to see how they fix them!

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

The podcasts I listen to are: I don’t really have enough time or brain capacity at the moment to indulge in too many podcasts but I do really enjoy How I Built This & How to Fail to remind myself that where there is a will, and a lot of resilience, there is a way! 

In my fridge you’ll always find: Champagne, Parmigiano Reggiano and Lewis Road Creamery Butter. 

My favourite room in my house is: My open plan living room/dining room/kitchen. It’s the place where I get to cook and eat and be with my friends and family. 

I recently discovered: Siri’s many hidden talents. She’s slowly teaching me how to be her friend and I think she might just make my life a little bit more efficient which is an everlasting endeavour!

The people I rely on for my well being are: My family and my friends. When I need cuddles, there’s no one I want them more from than my husband and children.

My favourite website is: The New York Times and The Guardian. 

A gadget I can’t do without is: I acquired a Thermomix to help me make Olympias purees… During lockdown I really through myself into it getting up close & personal with it and gal… You can cook almost ANYTHING in it! Equally important in our house is the humble microplane. No kitchen should be without one. I have four. 

Donna Huanca

The one artist whose work I would collect is (if price is not an issue): I have always and will always love Ralph Hotere. I’ve also recently become obsessed with an American artist called Donna Huanca. Quite different but both deeply emotional. 

The last meal out I had that truly impressed me was: Ponsonby Road Bistro. I love consistency and Blair and the team knock it out of the park. Every. Single. Time. Also, love the cool kids at Lilian… That Tuatua pizza!

The best gift I ever received was: The opportunity to grow my very own family. I will never be as grateful for anything as I am for our girls, Olympia and Octavia, and the many lessons I have learnt along by becoming their mother.  

The beauty/ grooming product I can’t live without is: Apart from my facials I’m a pretty low maintenance gal when it comes to skincare however I am yet to find myself the perfect skincare regime…watch this space though because I have an idea brewing! 


Music I’m currently listening to: FINNEAS, Billie Eilish’s brother. I don’t know who got me on to him but I’m glad they did in time for this question! 

If I wasn’t doing what I am, I would be: I’m not big on limits – if I want to do something, I’ll give it a go…As evidenced by the new adventure I’m starting soon, which is in a space that’s quite different to the food & hospo world. I know that I’m my best when I am learning, growing and evolving so being a little uncomfortable is so good for me! 

I have a collection of: Earrings! I told you I can’t go past a jazzy pair. 

A great piece of advice I’ve received: If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Also this; The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave — (Ronald Reagan) 


Discover delicious Japanese-Korean sandos & more at Auckland’s new food truck — That Sando Guy
Denizen’s definitive guide to Auckland’s best grab & go lunch spots
Make the most of fresh summer flavours with this vibrant, umami ceviche recipe