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Elliot McClymont and Lyall Minhinnick Appointed as Co-Chairs of the Rangatahi Leadership Group

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The Restaurant Association is delighted to announce the appointment of Elliot McClymont and Lyall Minhinnick as co-chairs of the Rangatahi Leadership Group. These dynamic individuals will play a pivotal role in leading the charge for the Association’s Engaging Rangatahi initiative, supported by Ringa Hora Services Workforce Development Council and Gilmours.

The Engaging Rangatahi initiative underscores the Association’s commitment to nurturing the future leaders of the hospitality sector. By connecting with individuals who represent the industry’s future, including those with visionary ideas and a strong drive to contribute to its growth, the Association aims to collectively create a brighter future for everyone involved.

Elliot McClymont is the owner and operator of the Roaming Flamingo, a mobile taco truck based in Auckland. Elliot has been in the hospitality industry since he was 15. In his early 20’s he successfully managed TriBeCa, once crowned New Zealand’s best restaurant and The Tasting Shed before setting up his first business Blush Gin. He built the business from an idea on a kitchen bench to an internationally awarded and recognised brand. Elliot was also crowned a Master Chef New Zealand grand finalist in 2022 and has been involved in the Best Foods waste reduction campaign. Elliot’s wealth and breadth of knowledge applies to all aspects of the hospitality industry, he is truly excited to be Co-Chair of the Rangatahi Leadership Group where he plans to create a solid and vibrant framework for the next generation of hospitality professionals.

“I am very excited to co chair the Rangatahi leadership group, I believe we can make a really positive impact on the industry’s future as a whole,” said McClymont.

Lyall Minhinnick’s culinary journey from Waiuku to his current role as a chef at Amisfield, the three-time American Express Restaurant of The Year in the Cuisine Good Food Awards, is marked by important choices that have shaped his career. In his eight months at Amisfield, he has honed his skills in diverse culinary tasks, from open-fire cooking of whole animals to meticulously foraging ingredients like fresh thyme in the Kawerau Gorge. Lyall’s experience also encompasses working at renowned South Island establishments such as Fleurs Place and Riverstone Kitchen. His passion for cooking and delighting diners is evident. Notably while previously working at the Bayview Hotel, Lyall has also been collaborating with Iwi to provide crucial support to rangatahi in the Coromandel. This partnership reflects his commitment to empowering and nurturing the youth while leveraging the resources and guidance offered by Iwi.  He’s excited about his role as co-chairperson for the Rangatahi Leadership Group, where he aims to inspire the next generation and contribute to the future of New Zealand’s hospitality industrythrough his own story and experiences

“Inspiring youth has been something I’ve always been really passionate about now being a co chairperson of the rangatahi group I’m able to further my dream and help shape and inspire the rangatahi of Aotearoa,” added Minhinnick.

“We are thrilled to welcome Elliot McClymont and Lyall Minhinnick as the co-chairs of our Rangatahi Leadership Group,” said Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association. “Their enthusiasm, experience, and dedication to the hospitality industry make them exceptional leaders for this initiative. Together, with the entire leadership team and our talented members, they will drive our Engaging Rangatahi initiative forward, tackling our skills shortage, looks at attracting people to our industry and supporting our entrepreneurial rangatahi .”

We would like to acknowledge the support of the Ringa Awhi Fund, a funding initiative for industry associations managed by Ringa Hora, and Gilmours as supporters of this initiative to bring this group of talented rangatahi together.


We are thrilled to introduce the talented members of the Rangatahi Leadership Group, who will work alongside co-chairs Elliot McClymont and Lyall Minhinnick:

Rebekah Leung Wai – Little Savanna, Palmerston North

Nic Kearney – Onslow, Auckland

Kira Mance Freire – Coco’s Cantina, Auckland

Lena Speed – Loretta, Wellington

Ben Newman – Black Pineapple, Auckland

Sarah Green – Floriditas, Wellington

Jenna Phillips – Sacred Grounds, Taupo

Jacob Aomarere-Poole – The Strong Room, Feilding

Jacob Spackman – Kisa, Wellington

Mangesh Shah – KOL, Auckland

Each member brings a unique perspective and passion for the industry, and together, they will contribute to shaping the future of New Zealand’s hospitality sector.

Elliot McClymont and Lyall Minhinnick, as co-chairs, will play a central role in running meetings, coordinating ideas, and collaborating closely with the Restaurant Association’s executive team to achieve the charter’s objectives. Their passion for the industry and dedication to its growth make them the perfect fit to lead this initiative.

By fostering an environment where young talents are encouraged and supported, the Restaurant Association’s Engaging Rangatahi initiative aims to pave the way for a dynamic and inclusive future for the hospitality industry.


For more information about the Engaging Rangatahi initiative and to connect with Elliot McClymont and Lyall Minhinnick, please visit https://www.restaurantnz.co.nz/engaging-rangatahi/

Find out more about the Advisory Group here.

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