I have been involved in the food industry for the last 13 years. I was brought up on a organic beef and fine wool sheep farm in the Waipara/Hurunui region where hunting and gathering was part of daily life.
In my late teens I studied and trained to be a chef and worked professionally in a number of Auckland restaurants, most notably as the chef opening and running the kitchen at Te Whau Vineyard Restaurant on Waiheke Island for two years.
Subsequently, my partner and I travelled extensively overseas where I was able to work for some time in London as a private chef to a cousin of Queen Elizabeth. We then travelled further afield throughout Europe working and experiencing a wide range of different local food cultures.
Perhaps the most memorable working holiday, was living with a family who ran an exclusive small scale hotel in Andalucia in Spain which also offered a cooking school for 5-10 people. The meals we cooked were truly an expression of the region and I came away from that time convinced that this was really the way food should be sourced and prepared. This experience inspired me to return home and set up a catering business based on these principles in a NZ context.
I now feel I have come full circle in returning home to this area to raise my family in a similar location and lifestyle to my early years.
The catering business that I have established in Waikari started from my desire to create delicious food from the abundance of quality, seasonal local produce and products available in this very special area.
I strive to use products supplied by local growers and producers as I believe this creates an economically viable network of other small business owners which helps to develop healthy, sustainable communities.
In essence, I want to bring to the Hurunui region my passion for local, seasonal food prepared and presented with an uncomplicated approach to catering. With this philosophy, my greatest desire is to ensure my clients and guests experience a memorable celebration or occasion.
I believe this region has yet to reach its full potential as a centre of fine food and wine production, and I am excited about being part of its future growth.