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Restaurant Association of New
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Hospitality Business
kitchen products
Restaurant Association of New
NZ Chefs Association
Hospitality Business

T&G celebrates major milestone

It’s not often a business celebrating 120 years of operating can say it’s still fresh to the core but for one of New Zealand’s largest fresh produce growers the proof lies in the eating!

Turners and Growers was founded in 1897, changing its name to T&G Global in 2014 to reflect its growing global footprint. Innovation has continued with the company launching New Zealand’s first lower carb potato (Lotatoes)  this month, and revolutionising the tomato category with its bite-sized Beekist and Ruby’s brands. Earlier this year T&G’s Envy apple was named the favourite of Americans and this month marks 58 years since former chairman Jack Turner coined the name ‘Kiwifruit’, starting a billion-dollar export industry for New Zealand.

This week T&G will mark its 120-year milestone with New Zealand generational growers, customers, suppliers and staff, many of whom have worked for T&G for decades – including one who has worked for T&G for 63 years.

A big focus of the celebration will be on fresh food with Karena and Kasey Bird (Masterchef New Zealand winners 2014) creating a mouth-watering menu showcasing the best of T&G’s,and New Zealand’s, produce.

On the menu are fruit and vegetables from some of the 1000 growers T&G works  with plus produce from the substantial volume T&G grows including Jazz apples and Satsuma mandarins.

The secret to T&G’s longevity and success? The company says keeping fruit and vegetables consistently fresh, responding to changing consumer needs and adhering to its original business philosophy, as set down by founder Edward Turner who said; “Our industry is vital for healthy living and is essential to mankind and does no one any harm.” 

Alastair Hulbert, T&G Global CEO says, “Edward Turner was certainly ahead of his time in many ways, establishing a flourishing fruit and flower business on K Road in Auckland in 1897 with the support of his nine sons. Fast forward to 2017 and T&G has a footprint the length and breadth of New Zealand plus 12 offices offshore delivering the best of New Zealand to kiwis, and the world, and importing what is needed to provide people with fresh produce every day, everywhere.

“And in an age where obesity and heart disease are rampant, I’m proud T&G provides people with healthy food options,” adds Alistair. “We’re passionate about what we’re doing and possibly one of the many reasons we continue to grow 120 years after our first seed was grown.”

Andrew Keaney, executive general manager, New Zealand at T&G Global continues, “We’re a champion for over 1000 local growers and are growers ourselves. We understand the challenges growers face and believe consumers have a right to know where their produce is grown. As an industry, we need to remain focused on this alongside biosecurity, sustainability and food safety – all aspects of business we take very seriously.”

Employing 1300 people across New Zealand and 200 overseas, T&G also recruits around 2000 seasonal workers each year and is on target to achieve $2 billion in revenue by 2020.

T&G is also the country’s biggest exporter of fresh fruit and vegetables. Total New Zealand horticulture products recently exceeded $8 billion for the first-time outdoing wine exports and making the industry’s target of $10 billion by 2020 a reality.

The post T&G celebrates major milestone appeared first on Hospitality Business.

IHG eyes 4000 hotel rooms at London paramount theme park


An artist’s impression of Crowne Plaza Christchurch exterior.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has reached a heads of terms agreement to operate up to 4,000 guest rooms with the developer of London Paramount theme park in north Kent.

The massive £3.2b (NZ$  6.4 billion) development on the Swanscombe Peninsula is expected to open in 2022.

Developed in phases, the hotels will open under a number of IHG’s brands, from its limited service, midscale and upscale brand stable.

The latest plans for the resort, of which the heads of terms form a part, will go on public display in the northern hemisphere’s autumn, before a development consent order is submitted to the UK’s secretary of state. A management agreement is due to be signed during a later stage in the resort development process, prior to the resort and hotels’ opening in 2022.

Humphrey Percy, CEO of London Resort Company Holdings, the developer of London Paramount, said: “This head of terms agreement with IHG is a key piece in our jigsaw puzzle of infrastructure operations which sets an important standard for the resort. This arrangement is a further example of our commitment to creating a truly global destination and entertainment resort in, and for, the UK.”

IHG operates nearly 5,200 hotels and 767,000 rooms around the world under brands including Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, and Staybridge Suites.

The post IHG eyes 4000 hotel rooms at London paramount theme park appeared first on Hospitality Business.

WorldChefs President NZ bound

President of WorldChefs Thomas Gugler.

The President of WorldChefs, Thomas Gugler, is set to make a trip down under in July to attend the NZ Hospitality Championships and judge at Nestlé Toque d’Or.

Appointed as President at last year’s WorldChefs Congress in Greece, it will be Thomas’ first visit to New Zealand.

The acclaimed German chef has decades of experience judging culinary competitions around the world. He is a certified Executive Master Chef and has won hundreds of medals and awards from international cooking competitions globally. He currently works as the Corporate Director of Kitchens for AFS (Arabian Food Supplies) Naghi Group.

Thomas joins an elite group of chefs and industry experts who have been drafted to judge at this year’s Nestlé Toque d’Or competition.

NZChefs National President and event organiser, Graham Hawkes, said it will be a great honour to host the world renown chef in Auckland.

“The depth of culinary knowledge he has is nothing short of extraordinary. We are extremely privileged to have him visit here and secure his involvement as a judge at Nestlé Toque d’Or,” Graham said.Now in its 27th year, Nestlé Toque d’Or is one of the most anticipated events of the year for the hospitality industry.

“It’s a student culinary competition like no other that showcases our country’s brightest young culinary and restaurant service talent. Every year, the event shifts up a notch as the students manage to bring something new and exciting to the table impressing the judges with their clever techniques and menus.”

Drawn from the country’s leading culinary arts institutes, the students are the best in their fields. Each team consists of one restaurant service and two culinary students. At the event, they must prepare and serve six covers of a three-course meal that they have perfected in the months leading up to the competition. They have just two-and-a-half-hours to complete the service.

“While competing at the event is an honour in itself, this year’s competitors will have an added extra dimension as they get to showcase their skills in front of Thomas Gugler.

“While the competition is fierce and nerves are frayed by the end of the day, the winning team will be rewarded with one of the country’s top culinary honours. The event also opens doors to incredible career opportunities for all of the students.”

This year’s judges are:

Thomas Gugler President of WorldChefs
Darren Wright Chef Owner at Chillingworth Rd
Chetan Pangam  Executive Chef Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay
Jinu Abraham   Executive Chef CPG Hotel Group
Nancye Pirini  Executive Chef Novotel Auckland Airport
Damian Peeti   Cookery Lecturer at UCOL Whanganui
Richard Hingston Head Chef Christchurch Casino
MacLean Fraser Artisan Restaurant at the Bolton Hotel
Ganesh Khedekar LSG SkyChefs
Janine Quaid   Renard Group
John Snowball  Tutor Cook Islands Tertiary Institute
Amanda Turner  Hospitality Tutor Northtec
Tony Stewart   Owner/Manager of Clooney Restaurant


They will assess competitors against WorldChefs judging criteria which covers a range of areas including: timing, taste, food preparation skills, service, presentation and hygiene.

“The pressure is on throughout the event and the students know that they have to get it right or else valuable points will be lost.”

Graham said post event feedback from the judges is an important part of the competition.

“It’s not often that students receive such important feedback from highly experienced and acclaimed chefs including a world leading expert like Thomas Gugler.”

The 27th Nestlé Toque d’Or will be held on Thursday 27 July 2017 at the Auckland Showgrounds. An awards dinner will be held later in the evening at the Heritage Auckland where the winning team will be announced.

Sponsors of this year’s event are: Nestlé Professional, Beef + Lamb New Zealand,, Akaroa Salmon, House of Knives and Moffat

The post WorldChefs President NZ bound appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Otago proves very hospitable

Dunedin railway station.

Spending through Paymark in Otago was up strongly within the bars, clubs and cafes around the time of the Lions’ game in Dunedin on Tuesday June 13.

Electronic payments through Hospitality merchants (excluding Accommodation) in Otago linked to the Paymark network amounted to $2.5 million between noon Monday and noon Wednesday. This was $860,000 higher than experienced on average during the same days and hours of the first four weeks of May. The percentage increase was 53% for these Otago non-accommodation hospitality merchants, noting that Otago includes both Dunedin and Queenstown.

Given that most of the increase occurred immediately before and after the Lions game, it is reasonable to infer that this extra spending can be attributed to the event and was most likely in Dunedin. The largest increase occurred between 5pm and 7pm on Tuesday, just before the game, and at 10pm to midnight, when spending amongst hospitality merchants was 2-6 times their May average for each hour. Payments between 3am and 4am on Wednesday were similar to that normally experienced between 11pm to midnight on Tuesday.

Elsewhere there was a mixed pattern of spending amongst Otago merchants on Tuesday, with not all changes necessarily due to the rugby event. Taxis saw over twice the normal business (i.e. through Paymark relative to the May average). Clothing and footwear merchants experienced 34% higher sales. Spending was up at auto repairs shops, rural supply companies, liquor stores and specialist food retailers. Spending was down amongst gyms, government bodies, banks, accountants/lawyers, supermarkets and hardware/appliance stores.

In total, spending through Paymark in Otago was $8.6 million on Tuesday, up $700,000 or 8.8% on an average Tuesday in May.

These figures do not reveal exactly what happened on the day but they do imply that there were a lot of extra people in town on Tuesday and that they did not come to go to the gym, pay their rates or see the lawyer – at least not at the office.

The post Otago proves very hospitable appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Lodge beside Karapiro placed on the market

Lake Karapiro Lodge overlooking Lake Karapiro in the Waikato.

A luxury lodge overlooking New Zealand’s premier fresh-water sporting hub has been placed on the market for sale.

Lake Karapiro Lodge overlooking Lake Karapiro in the Waikato is a six suite high-end commercial accommodation provider – with nightly rack-rate room charges ranging between $295 – $900. The venue also has a large ‘barn’ building with modern interior decor used for hosting functions.

The lodge was purpose-built in 2004 and has 730 square metres of accommodation and venue space sitting on some 9,921 square metres of freehold commercially-zoned land. The guesthouse was personally built by its owner, Ed Rompelberg, who is a qualified engineer and draftsman.

Lake Karapiro Lodge land, buildings and business are being marketed for sale by Bayleys, with an asking price of $3.5 million + GST (if any). Bayleys’ tourism group salesperson Carolyn Hanson said the lodge was benefitting from its proximity to the hugely popular Lake Karapiro – New Zealand’s premier fresh-water sporting venue.

“The sporting event calendar for Lake Karapiro is booked out solidly throughout the summer months, and is additionally well patronised over the spring and autumn shoulder periods too,” Ms Hanson said.

“To cope with the tens of thousands of competitors coming into the Waipa region, there is a range of commercial accommodation providers operating in the Cambridge region, right through to Hamilton. These range from backpacker style venues, traditional motels and hotels, and at the pinnacle is the luxury of Lake Karapiro Lodge – which has the attraction of being just five minutes drive from the launching facilities for events taking place on the lake.”

Ms Hanson said the addition of the Avantidrome indoor cycling velodrome on the outskirts of Cambridge just a few kilometres away also added another dimension to the Waipa region’s sporting attractions and potential customer base for Lake Karapiro Lodge.

“Again, like the water-based sports on the lake, the velodrome brings in competitors and supporters at both school and club levels for most of the year,” she said.

“Then of course there’s the huge Fieldays agricultural expo’ held annually at Mystery Creek, Balloons Over the Waikato, and the growth in popularity of Hobbiton at nearby Matamata – all contributing to increasing visitor numbers for the Greater Waikato region.”

Ms Hanson said that while Lake Karaprio Lodge had traditionally focused its marketing at accommodation guests, the venue’s infrastructure and landscaping enabled the property to be hired as a year-round wedding venue with two seating options.

“In summer, weddings can be hosted under a marquee on the lodge’s expansive front lawn with uninterrupted views over Lake Karapiro. In winter, bookings could be hosted in the barn. Catering for either location is prepared on-site through the lodge’s kitchen.

“Mid-sized function hosting is a definite revenue stream any new owner of the lodge could look at developing,” she said.

Luxury guest amenities at Lake Karapiro Lodge include an inground concrete swimming pool and an adjacent spa complex. The barn conferencing and function space is capable of hosting up to 30 guests in a seated format, and is located adjacent to the main lodge building.

Ms Hanson said Waipa District Council had been a driving force behind not only increasing the number of sporting events taking place on Lake Karapiro, but also extending the length of those individual competitions so that both competitors and spectators stayed longer in the region.

“The council has recorded escalating income from both powered and non-powered sites adjacent to the Lake Karapiro Domain. This replicates what has been taking place at the other end of the accommodation budget spectrum, with Lake Karapiro Lodge servicing those seeking a high-end accommodation experience linked to the sporting events on the water,” she said.

Waipa District councillor and Lake Karapiro Mighty River Domain manager Liz Stolwyk said: “I really want to see longer events being staged on the lake as that benefits everyone – from the accommodation provider, to eateries, and retailers.”

“A really good example is the flow on effect something like the waka ama events in January (last year) which brought an extra $5 million into the community.”

Lake Karapiro Lodge homestead contains a 150 square metre owner/manager’s accommodation –  separate from the main lodge amenities – featuring a bedroom, lounge, bathroom, laundry, and dining room. The business is being sold with a number of reservations already booked in for the remainder of 2017.

The post Lodge beside Karapiro placed on the market appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Big move as My Food Bag shifts into new premises

My Food Bag’s brand new development kitchen.

Continued growth for market leading home food delivery provider My Food Bag has seen the company move into a new building in Parnell. Reflecting the runaway success of convenient delivery of quality ingredients for Kiwis to prepare varied meals, a standout feature of the new building is an entire floor dedicated to My Food Bag’s Development Kitchen.

Founder and co-CEO Cecilia Robinson says the need for expanded and purpose-built premises became clear with the meteoric rise of My Food Bag since its 2013 introduction. “We started on the notion that the simple question of ‘what’s for dinner tonight’ was quite hard to answer. By giving New Zealanders’ healthier and more varied answers, we’ve rapidly grown to where we can serve more customers more effectively from our new building.”

Robinson is enthusiastic about the latest big move to the new premises, particularly the Development Kitchen. “A big part of our success lies in the work Nadia and the team put in to the development and testing of ingredients and recipes for all the My Food Bag and Bargain Box offerings,” she says.

Fully decked out with Fisher & Paykel equipment, the Development Kitchen is a chef’s dream, with state-of-the-art appliances and whiteware delivering an ideal location for the team to carefully assess options for its loyal customers. “We even have a two-station Photography Kitchen where each dish undergoes a fashion shoot after making it through the stringent evaluation process,” Robinson adds.

The administrative hub of the business is kept close to operations. Upstairs in the new building, My Food Bag hosts its Operations, Procurement, Finance, Marketing, Digital and Customer Love teams.

Robinson explains: “We put a lot of work into making sure every My Food Bag experience is positive. Customer delight is our objective overall, and the Customer Love Team plays a major role in making that happen.”The new building fit-out, was designed and project managed by Platform Consulting Group who also acted as Tenant Advisor.

Robinson is founder and Co-CEO alongside her husband James Robinson. They founded the business together with New Zealand businesswoman Theresa Gattung and celebrity chef Nadia Lim, and Nadia’s husband, Carlos Bagrie.

This isn’t the first big move made by My Food Bag, which provides a service where customers order online and receive food bags containing recipes for a week’s main dinner meals. Within five months of inception, My Food Bag expanded operations to Hamilton and Wellington and soon added new products such as the Family Bag and developed innovative offerings such as a Christmas Food Bag and a Gluten Free Bag.

Business legend Kevin Roberts joined the team as a shareholder and chair in 2015. The big move for June 2016 saw My Food Bag expand its offering with the launch of the Bargain Box brand. Super affordable, Bargain Box cuts the frills to deliver great value ingredients and recipes while providing plenty of leftovers (or meals for unexpected guests).

Also in 2016, Waterman Capital took a stake in the business as part of its evolution towards readying for a potential IPO; while the financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, the company said it was one of the biggest private equity deals done in New Zealand involving a young business.

Last month My Food Bag went on to launch Fresh Start with Nadia, a brand new product range designed specifically for people who want to lose and manage their weight. This rapid growth means the company delivers more than one million meals to New Zealanders each month.

My Food Bag has been recognised in several ways for its business achievements, including being named National Rising Star in the NZ Deloitte Fast 50 Awards in 2014.

The post Big move as My Food Bag shifts into new premises appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Top hospitality industry personalities awarded New Zealand Order of Merit

Michael Meredith.

Two industry icons, chef Michael Meredith and host extraordinaire Peter Morrison have received awards in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours.

Michael Meredith is now a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services as a restaurateur and to philanthropy. Meredith is a renowned chef and has had an extensive and highly successful career in Auckland restaurants, including Antoine’s, Vinnie’s, and as founding chef of the Grove. He opened Meredith’s Restaurant in 2007, and won Restaurant of the Year from both Metro and Cuisine magazines in the following years. He has also been awarded outstanding chef in Auckland’s annual hospitality awards. Meredith has used his culinary skills to heavily involve himself in a number of charitable works. He advises Eat My Lunch, a social enterprise which has given free lunches to more than 300,000 children in decile 1 and 2 schools since it began. He also holds weekly charity nights at his restaurant Meredith’s, called Dine by Donation. Diners receive a three course meal and Meredith’s donates the costs to the charity of the month. These nights raised $160,000 for various charities in the first two years of operation.

Meredith said he was incredibly surprised when he found out he was awarded the honour. “You don’t do these things to be honoured . . . Shock was the first thing that came to mind,” he said.

After dropping out of school at 15, he fell in love with the creativity of making food. Meredith puts his success down to self-belief. “That’s one of the key things to come through. Everyone has dreams but I think there is a self- belief that has to come behind that. “There is something in all of us . . . we are capable of able to help anyone. Cooking and food has become a vehicle for me to be able to give back.

Peter Morrison

Peter Morrison, host extraordinaire of the Classic Villa Boutique Hotel in Christchurch,  has been awarded an Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the hospitality industry.

With a hospitality career spanning almost 40 years, Mr Morrison has been a mainstay of the Christchurch hospitality scene holding various executive roles, including on the national board of Hospitality New Zealand, as board member and treasurer.

Mr Morrison started his career in the mid 1970’s as a management trainee for Lion (as it is now known) gaining management experience in various hotels throughout the country.  He moved to Christchurch in 1986 where he managed the Hotel Russley, before becoming one of the owners. Throughout the 90’s, his company Morrison Hospitality Management Ltd successfully owned and managed a number of accommodation, bar and restaurant establishments including, Morrisons on Merrin in Avonhead and the Mansfield House & Tavern in Merivale.

In 2006, Peter and his partner Jan Clarke started hosting guests at the Classic Villa Boutique Hotel in Christchurch a 5 star Qualmark rated establishment.

“Peter is one of those industry professionals you just know you can call on for insights and advice”, says Vicki Lee, CEO Hospitality New Zealand. “He’s seen the industry evolve into what it is today and has a massive understanding of the hospitality industry and what needs to be done for it to thrive”.

“His commitment to the industry, particularly after the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, is exceptional”, she said. “He has stood by the Christchurch industry during the rebuild and was instrumental in setting up and chairing Christchurch Hospitality Incorporated, a vital link between quake-affected hospitality industries, CERA and other authorities.  All the while chairing the Canterbury Branch of Hospitality New Zealand.”

Mr Morrison also represents New Zealand’s tourism and hospitality sectors on the world stage as a member and International Councillor of SKAL International NZ, a professional organisation of tourism leaders. Outside hospitality, Mr Morrison is treasurer of the Friends of the Art Centre helping to raise funds for specific project repairs within the quake-affected Christchurch Art Centre.

“It’s lovely to receive this acknowledgement” Mr Morrison said, “I’m not going to be modest and say it doesn’t feel good. It feels really good! But I didn’t get this award on my own, and I know it is an acknowledgement of our great hospitality and tourism industry. I can’t imagine doing anything else and don’t plan to stop any time soon.” he said.

The post Top hospitality industry personalities awarded New Zealand Order of Merit appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Shared lunch board indulges time-pressed diners


Time-pressed diners don’t need to forgo the tenets of the slow food movement as Russian-inspired Ponsonby venue Vodka Room launches a $20 shared lunch board whose components take a week to bring together but come out minutes after you order.

Elements of the ‘Rush In Lunch Board’ are churned, cured or fermented on-site under the eye of head chef Murray Wiblin, formerly head chef at Hotel DeBrett and executive chef charged with the launch of Ebisu, Tyler St. Garage and Fukuko.

“Perfect for a quick, shared lunch, every element represents our strongly held slow-food principles,”says Wiblin. “This is food done the old-fashioned way, prepared by hand for not just nourishment but love, warmth and survival; all with an accessible price point.”

A border with Korea has influenced Russian cuisine and the adoption of kimchi, a traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables. Vodka Room’s version utilises Asian cabbage, salted and pressed for two days then dried before being rubbed with a house-made paste comprised of spicy chili flakes, garlic, sugar and salt.

“In Russia and Korea this would then be put into large clay pots before being buried in the ground with just the lid popping out for easy access and consistent temperature for slow fermentation,” says Wiblin. “Ours is vacuum-packed and kept on ice.”

Kneaded by hand, the accompanying bread will change to reflect shifting seasons; its current incarnation incorporating toasted caraway, cumin, coffee grounds, dark cocoa and unrefined molasses. The kimchi and pickles are fermented on-site, the butter is churned and cultured in the kitchen and the salo, preserved pork belly, is cured there.

Akin to an Italian lardo, a cured pork back fat with very little meat on it, Wiblin explains that the salo is so soft it literally melts in the mouth. “We tried many varieties before settling on a Spanish acorn fed pork which has an additional creamy nuttiness,” he says. “Cured with a mix of salt, pepper, raw garlic and bay, we leave it in a dark cool place for days before washing off and freezing, allowing it to be cut wafer-thin.”

Ikra or ‘Poor Man’s Caviar’ uses a variety of seasonal vegetables added in a carefully timed sequence to cook slowly in a large pot. The addition of smoky paprika, zesty lemon, tomato, garlic, fresh herbs and cider vinegar bring this wonderful combination alive. “We then balance the intense flavours with a whipped soft goat’s cheese combining it with local clover honey, thyme and Tahitian vanilla,” says Wiblin.  To round out each hand-cut New Zealand native wood board, a main component dish of either shashlik (chargrilled slow-cooked beef feather blade or pork belly), vegetarian stroganoff (a mushroom gnocchi dish), or kotleta (a light fish cake) completes the Russian antipasti. Locally-sourced produce is used whenever possible and the main components change with seasonal abundance.

The post Shared lunch board indulges time-pressed diners appeared first on Hospitality Business.

NZ’s top chefs visit Japan for coveted food industry awards

Pieta Fleming working her magic with Ora King Salmon.

Leading Kiwi chefs and food personalities will travel to Japan this spring to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the annual Ōra King Awards.

The announcement was made at an exclusive industry event held at Cocoro restaurant in Auckland. The Japanese themed launch event was catered for by the young, talented chefs who took part in this year’s Ōra King Next Generation mentoring programme*.

One of the most prestigious culinary highlights on the professional chef’s calendar, the Ōra King Awards (The Ōra’s) recognises outstanding contributions from chefs working with Ōra King salmon, New Zealand King Salmon’s premium foodservice brand.

Japan’s multi-faceted food culture

UNESCO recently added Japanese cuisine – known in Japan as washoku – to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list. This puts it equal to French cuisine, the only other national culinary tradition to be so honoured. A journey around Japan is said to reveal the wisdom of Unesco’s decision: every corner of the country boasts something unique and special to eat or drink.

With increasing numbers of NZ-based chefs taking inspiration from Japanese cuisine, and Ōra King salmon steadily gaining popularity in Japan, Ōra King has chosen to celebrate its fifth annual awards ceremony in the country that is famous for its discerning eye for quality seafood.

Judge Lauraine Jacobs, along with fellow Judge Geoff Scott, will accompany four lucky chefs from New Zealand, and four chefs from North America and Australia, to Japan. They will embark upon a true Chef’s Tour; an off the tourist trail journey exploring Japanese food culture and cuisine, visiting some of Japan’s most prominent restaurants and artisan producers. The highlight of the trip will be The Ōra’s ceremony in Tokyo.

The four chefs from each country are yet to be decided as Ōra King will take the three Best Ōra King Dish finalists in addition to an Ōra King Ambassador from each country. Entries for the Best Ōra King Dish New Zealand award are now open.

Ōra King is encouraging chefs across the country to enter and New Zealand King Salmon GM Marketing Jemma McCowan hopes the trip will inspire local talent and shine a light on the rich affiliation between both countries. 

“When it comes to cuisine, Japan’s ancient food traditions are an inspiration to our relatively new, but evolving culinary scene in New Zealand. Since our launch in 2011, we’ve seen strong growth of Ōra King salmon in Japan’s high end foodservice category and look forward to giving our best chefs a money can’t buy experience in one of the most fascinating and multifaceted food cultures in the world”.

New to 2017, chefs from around the world are required to create their Best Ōra King dish with a Japanese twist. ‘Japanese twist’ is entirely down to the chef’s interpretation and it may be expressed through ingredients, techniques, presentation or simply inspiration. As ever, the chef has creative license.

This year the Best Ōra King Dish award category has been expanded to include the Japanese market. The Ōra’s see chefs from New Zealand and around the world compete for one of six coveted titles. The full list of awards are:

  • Best Ōra King Ambassador New Zealand
  • Best Ōra King Ambassador International
  • Best Ōra King Dish New Zealand
  • Best Ōra King Dish Australia
  • Best Ōra King Dish North America
  • Best Ora King Dish Japan

McCowan comments on her admiration for the quality of work entered year-on-year. “Every year I’m blown away by the creativity and innovation from our nation’s chefs. In New Zealand, we’re blessed with a mix of cultures in a relatively young country, and these two elements give us a freedom of expression combined with great local ingredients to make our food scene world-class.

“Our chefs love competition and The Ōra’s provide a platform to showcase their creativity, craftsmanship and expertise. It’s a process and experience that embodies innovation and last year our judges were impressed with the increase in entries from younger chefs.”

Call for entries for the 2017 Ōra King Awards open 7 June (today), and will remain open until 31 July.Chefs are required to submit their entry via a short online form at, which captures information about the dish, such as the chef’s inspiration and techniques used, along with the requirement to submit an accompanying image. The information provided by the chef at this stage is used for initial judging to determine the semi-finalists.

Veteran food writer Lauraine Jacobs and respected chef and restaurateur Geoff Scott will travel the country, from 21 August – 10 September to judge the semi-finalist dishes, on the following set criteria:

  • Dish composition
  • Taste
  • Execution and technique
  • X Factor

Finalist chefs invited to Japan will be announced on 18 September.

The awards winners will be named in Japan on 17 October.

The post NZ’s top chefs visit Japan for coveted food industry awards appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Hôtel du Marc heads to New Zealand

The Hilton Hotel, Auckland.

Hilton Hotels & Resorts is creating a world first experience for a limited number of guests in New Zealand this winter, with exclusive Hôtel du Marc inspired rooms created in partnership with Veuve Clicquot and available at Hilton Auckland, Hilton Lake Taupo and Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa.

“Hilton Hotels & Resorts is renowned for bringing world class experiences to their guests,” says Damon Woolf, marketing manager, Hilton New Zealand. “We are excited to bring a new concept to New Zealanders to enjoy a moment of escapism this winter.”

The Madame Clicquot Room at Hilton Auckland, the Ponsardin Suite at Hilton Lake Taupo, and the La Grande Dame Room at Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa include accommodations for two adults, complimentary breakfast and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot on arrival. The packages may be booked between June 6 and Friday, 25 August for stays occurring through Wednesday, 5 July and Sunday, 27 August, based on availability.

Guests will enjoy a mix of old world sophistication and modern décor, and the rooms will be expertly designed by interior stylist Michelle Halford of The Design Chaser. “I’m delighted to bring to life this innovative and exciting concept on behalf of Hilton Hotels & Resorts,” said Halford. “Hôtel du Marc is a beautiful and eclectic building and I’m excited to help Hilton Hotels & Resorts reinvent this here in New Zealand.”

A unique food and champagne pairing will also be available for purchase at each of the hotels throughout July and August. At Hilton Lake Taupo’s Bistro Lago, an Over the Moon cheeseboard matched with Veuve Clicquot NV will be on offer while at Hilton Queenstown, a three-course menu matched with Veuve Clicquot NV will be available from the Wakatipu Grill along with a flute and facial promotion at the hotel’s eforea spa. Guests at Hilton Auckland can enjoy a specially created Beurre Bosc Pear Sorbet matched with Veuve Clicquot NV at FISH Restaurant.

Originally the residence of Madame Clicquot, the illustrious woman behind the luxury champagne as we know it today, Hôtel du Marc is an invitation only hotel in Reims, France. The epitome of the French ‘art de vivre’, the rooms are reserved for honoured visitors who come from the four corners of the world to discover the wines and history of the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin House. Hilton Hotel & Resorts’ curated rooms will capture the essence of the French space including a few ‘Clicquot twists’ and surprises for guests to discover.

The post Hôtel du Marc heads to New Zealand appeared first on Hospitality Business.


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