Posted by BurgerFuel


As BurgerFuel celebrates 25 years of serving up New Zealand’s original gourmet burger, we would be remiss if we didn’t give a shout out to the longest standing and integral member of the BurgerFuel Head Office - the man responsible for the food, Chris Mills.

For 24 years, Chris, our mad burger scientist (or BurgerFuel Menu Development Manager) has been passionately dedicated to developing BurgerFuel’s menu, both globally and locally, to ensure it provides great tasting options for all lifestyle choices.

More than a passionate foodie, Chris is an esteemed Chef. Auckland born, Chris spent his formative years in Wellington, starting out as a dishwasher at the Park Royal Hotel while putting himself through Uni (City & Guilds Culinary Arts), simultaneously honing his skills as an apprentice chef. In time, he mastered the culinary arts and had an extensive career as a fine dining chef, before being roped into designing the menu and working for a start-up little burger joint on Ponsonby Road, in Auckland. And with that, he hung up his chef’s whites and embarked on his BurgerFuel journey, seeing the brand expand from a single store, to 57.

With a 10+ year tenure in Store Operations, he made an epic contribution to the growth and systemisation of the brand. From Store Manager, to Store Opener, then Area Manager. He moved on to the 'Menu & Specials Guy' and Systems Trainer, in the early days of the Company, before working his way to Menu Development Manager and playing a fundamental role in the brands food positioning and direction.

Not much has changed since then, perhaps a little greyer, but still a magnificent head of hair and you’ll still find him working away in the secret BurgerFuel Test Kitchen, listening to podcasts and whipping up new creations on the daily, as devoted as he was in the very beginning.


Chris has a passion for building meaningful relationships with local suppliers, “We go to great lengths to use locally sourced New Zealand ingredients and products where we can. Supporting our local suppliers and farmers is paramount. The few things we do import, simply aren’t available in NZ, or don’t grow here. But this is a constant focus for the business”.

With a particular interest in helping emerging businesses get a foothold or exposure, be it through the supply of ingredients for  limited edition specials, or for core menu items, he personally visits and inspects manufacturing facilities and educates himself on every aspect of the supply chain.


Chris is masterful at dreaming up new special burger and side concepts that push food boundaries or challenge the perception of what a burger should be. His inquisitive and inventive nature has seen him develop over 200 limited edition special burgers and countless experimental sides that keep BurgerFuel fans eagerly awaiting each new release. With a fresh and exciting new burger and side special released consecutively, on a monthly basis, he is steadfast in his approach to keep the menu fresh and on trend.

Well researched, he derives his inspiration from taste testing products from other eateries, travelling around the world to experience international cuisine and visiting food expos and conventions. He works to ensure BurgerFuel is always at the frontline of food innovation, evident in burger specials that have explored emerging trends, such as alternative meats and hemp-based ingredients, or incorporated indigenous ingredients, like Pūhā into his culinary creations.

And above all else, he trusts his own palate and has a natural affinity for flavour profiles and ‘stomach feel’. He wants each and every burger that is served, to be a memorable one for the customer and really thinks about the complete experience from first bite, to how the customer feels or remembers their meal afterwards.

“The thing I want to celebrate is our diversity, individuality and longevity – we worked hard to create a flavour profile of our own, for our customers, that is unique to BurgerFuel. I don’t want to lose that, as customers crave that reliable flavour and know in their hearts and memory what to expect when they go to any BurgerFuel store. My aim is to continue to enhance that experience for the customer”.


When it comes to ingredients, his ethos is always quality first. He painstakingly selects ingredients that are ideally local, premium and natural - so no fillers, preservatives, additives or GMOs. And he always strives to create ingredients or products that are unique to BurgerFuel and that differentiate our food from the rest.

We asked him to list his top 5 bespoke BurgerFuel ingredients:


Featured on the Bastard, BioFuel and V8 Vegan, these homemade pickled raw beets are probiotic, so good for gut health. With organic cider and stout vinegar added to the fermentation process, this is an ingredient you won’t find anywhere else.


Our Pumpkin, chickpea & ginger bites are unique to BurgerFuel and have been meticulously reworked over the years to improve the flavour. The most recent change being the addition of turmeric, to enhance the pumpkin and ginger, for a fresh and wholesome punch.


Our buns are made to a special secret recipe that includes sweet potato flour instead of the addition of sugar, keeping it natural, light and fluffy.


A recent special side that included an interesting superfood mix of hemp seed, oil and powder, combined with broccoli, garlic, parsley, onion, chickpeas & citrus fibre – for a super nutritious hit in each bite.


The organic hemp seed green bun was a first for BurgerFuel and developed specifically for the Electric Pūhā burger special. It took a lot of trial to get the final product, which included hemp seed, oil, powder and spinach. This burger was a huge hit and the bun really made an impact with its green appearance and light ‘stomach feel’ afterwards.

We take our hats off to this legend of a man. Always up for a good yarn, with epic stories of the early days at BurgerFuel and who’s enthusiasm and energy for what he does is contagious to those around him.

Cheers Millsy.