Cuisine Good Food Awards 2018 – winner revealed

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New Zealand’s hospitality royalty celebrate their biggest party of the year.

Guests arriving at Auckland’s opulent Civic Theatre for the Cuisine Good Food Awards 2018 on 15 October 2018 stepped into an Indian-inspired wonderland of elephant statues, seated Buddhas, domed ceilings and twisted columns, while inside the auditorium Abyssinian panthers stalked through a Moorish garden with turrets, minarets, spires and tiled roofs, beneath a night sky sparkling with stars.

But it was the stars of the restaurant and hospitality world that were the focus of attention for the evening as the biggest names in New Zealand’s food and wine world gathered to hear Cuisine Editor, Kelli Brett, and Cuisine Good Food Awards lead assessor Kerry Tyack announce this year’s winners.

Auckland restaurant Cocoro took the top accolade as Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year, with chef and co-owner Makoto Tokuyama being feted for his sophisticated and inspiring Japanese food. Famed for using only the freshest sustainable seafood, the restaurant also earned three coveted hats.

“This team gets our highest honour in 2018,” said Kerry Tyack, lead assessor of the Cuisine Good Food Awards 2018. “With it comes our respect and our appreciation for a job being done quietly yet superbly.”

Santa Vittoria Chef of the Year, Giulio Sturla, was lauded for his skill balancing intense flavours that truly respect premium ingredients. “Giulio has so many layers to his work. Through his authentic and clever food,  through his mentoring and continuous support of his team, through the telling of the New Zealand food story within his organisation Eat New Zealand and through his never-ending push to learn and to teach and to be excellent. We are so proud to be able to shine a well-deserved  light on Giulio Sturla this year..”

With competition for the top awards being so intense, it’s remarkable that one chef should take out two of the major gongs. The ingenuity and sheer imagination of Vaughan Mabee of Amisfield Bistro was recognised for the second year running with the Ōra King Salmon Innovation Award, and his dish, The Paua Pie won the Whitestone Cheese Best NZ Dish.

Also demonstrating a wide-ranging talent, two of Auckland chef’s Sid Sahrawat’s stable of restaurants were awarded two hats this year, with Cassia winning the Best Metropolitan Restaurant.

Cuisine Good Food Awards

Not only applauding the newest, hottest spots, Wellington’s abiding favourite fine-diner Logan Brown was applauded, winning the Pead PR New Zealand Long-Term Player award for their commitment to consistently serving up elegance and pure class.

At the other end of the longevity spectrum the spotlight turned on up-and-coming chef Monique Fiso, about to launch her restaurant Hiakai celebrating Māori cuisine and indigenous ingredients.

“Transcending trends while remaining the hallmark of success are the twin features of quality and consistency. Our hat and category winners this year deliver both. They have shown a sure-footedness, a confidence that survives and grows without need of gimmicks or extreme positioning,” commented Kerry Tyack.

The theme of ‘Pure and Premium New Zealand’ carried throughout the night from the food by Lizzie Pearson of Urban Gourmet to the sheer array of Kiwi talent that gathered to hear the likes of Auckland’s Cassia, Gemmayze St and Depot and Hamilton’s Palate restaurants take out well-deserved awards. Also gathering major accolades were Elephant Hill in Hawke’s Bay and Wellington’s Noble Rot and Charley Noble.

Wellington restaurants took three of the top honours, five went to Auckland with the rest going to teams in Hamilton, Hawke’s Bay, Canterbury and Central Otago.

Cuisine Good Food Awards 2018

Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year
COCORO – Auckland

Santa Vittoria Chef of the Year

Best Metropolitan Restaurant
CASSIA – Auckland

SILERE Best Regional Restaurant
PALATE – Hamilton

Estrella Damm Best Specialist Restaurant
GEMMAYZE ST – Auckland

Epicure Trading Best Casual Dining Restaurant
DEPOT – Auckland

De’Longhi Restaurant Personality of the Year

Ōra King Salmon Innovation Award

Yellow Brick Road Best Winery Restaurant

Negociants New Zealand Best Wine Experience
NOBLE ROT – Wellington

Best Drinks List
CHARLEY NOBLE – Wellington

Cuisine New Zealand Future Food Legend

Pead PR New Zealand Long-Term Player
LOGAN BROWN – Wellington

Whitestone Cheese Best NZ Dish

From Cuisine Magazine

Locusts and ants for breakfast? Huhu grubs for lunch?

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Futurists, Experts and Food Industry Gather to Discuss Future Foods

Future Foods Conference

Cricket flour pancakes for breakfast? Sounds bizarre, but not so long ago, no-one had even heard of quinoa, kombucha or acai, and now these foods are commonplace in our café menus, supermarkets and homes.

Next month, food futurists, experts and innovators, together with Hawke’s Bay’s and New Zealand’s food industry will come together at the Future Foods Conference 2018 to discuss how the global future of food is changing, explore the food we might be eating in 20 years’ time and talk about the opportunities for New Zealand and Hawke’s Bay food producers.

Increasingly New Zealand is influenced by global food trends, says Business Hawke’s Bay CEO, Carolyn Neville.


“It’s essential that we understand the current trends, the factors shaping consumer choice and what that means for the global food industry.”


“The future of food is changing faster than ever before, so it’s important for New Zealand and Hawke’s Bay producers to understand what the global food industry might look like in the future and the opportunities it presents.”


“Business Hawke’s Bay wants to make sure our region’s food producers get to hear from leading experts about what’s happening and how they can add value to their business.”


“Future Foods is a must-attend event,” says Mrs Neville.

Julia Jones, Farm Enterprise Specialist with KPMG says  the consumer (or end user of our product) needs to be at the heart of what we do.

“That means becoming consumer-based producers and ensuring when we go to market we capture the value of what New Zealand has to offer.

“Disruption tends be very obvious, yet in your face, opportunity will hide, so New Zealand’s food and fibre industry needs to be prepared to go hunting for opportunity and evolve to maintain relevance,“ says Ms Jones.

Peter Randrup, Director of edible insect company Anteater says that the future of protein will be insects, plants, algae, and lab-grown meat.

“In a survey of 250,000 people, 50% said they would eat insects instead of beef, if it helped the environment.

“Think of how much impact any current food group has on our food system – dairy, fungi, vegetables, seafood… the western world has just discovered another food group – insects. The impact this will have on our food system will be no less profound than the discovery of dairy,” says Mr Randrup.

An impressive line-up of experts, futurists and innovators will talk to the four themes of the Future Foods Conference:

  1. Global food trends
  2. Adding value from land to brand
  3. Alternative proteins
  4. Innovation in technology

Speakers include:

Melissa Clark-Reynolds (Futurist)  – on tech innovations in the food industry
Mateawa Keelan (Hikurangi Enterprises) – on creating high value health products from bioactives
Peter Randrup (Anteaters) – on sustainable protein from edible insects
Mike Mayell (Cookie Time) – on future of hemp and environmentally sustainable food
Julia Jones (KPMG) – on global future food trends

The 2018 Future Foods Conference:

Teachers, cafe managers may be added to immigration priority list

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Teachers, construction managers and cafe and restaurant managers may get fast-track permits to immigrate to New Zealand under a new Government proposal.

The three groups are among 13 jobs proposed to be added to the Essential Skills in Demand list, which makes it easier for employers to hire workers from overseas.

Immigration NZ general manager Stephen Dunstan said adding an occupation to the list meant that employers would not have to show that there were no suitable NZ applicants for jobs, and overseas applicants would be granted work visas.

The building industry and teachers’ unions welcomed the proposal in view of severe shortages in both sectors.

Master Builders Federation chief executive David Kelly said he was “very pleased” that the list includes construction project managers and building associates as well as carpenters, glaziers, plumbers, quantity surveyors and stonemasons.

Carpenters are already on the immediate skills priority list, but Ryman Healthcare has applied for them to also go on a long-term priority list which provides a two-year “work-to-residence” visa leading to permanent residence.

Project managers are on both priority lists for roading projects but not for construction projects.

“A lot of the commentary has been around trades skills like carpenters and glaziers, and while that is absolutely true, just as big an issue is those project-manager-type roles,” Kelly said.

“We need to make sure that we have not just trade skills but people who are running businesses and projects, because that is where a number of the problems start when inexperienced project managers just don’t know how to manage some of the bigger projects.”

The Ministry of Education and other sector groups have applied to put primary teachers on both the immediate and long-term priority lists, and to put early childhood and secondary school teachers on the immediate list.

NZ Educational Institute president Lynda Stuart said her union would not oppose adding primary and early childhood education (ECE) teachers to the immediate list.

“While we won’t oppose teachers being added to the list for the short term, clearly the quality and sustainability of both primary and ECE workforces are at risk. The ultimate losers will be children and their learning,” she said.

She said other solutions could include bringing back bonding schemes for teachers, supporting beginning teachers better and extending student allowances and loan eligibility.

The Post Primary Teachers Association said it would also not oppose secondary teachers being added to the immediate list.

Cafe and restaurant managers are not on any priority list and the Restaurant Association has applied to add them to the long-term list.

Hospitality NZ policy and advocacy manager Nadine Mehlhopt said the industry had been asking for the move for some years. She said it was a misapprehension that “any old body” could run a cafe.

“There is some quite sensitive legislation that needs to be adhered to. There is a requirement that they have to adhere to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, the Food Safety Act and now the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

“It’s not just dealing with the staff, but also dealing with customers. They have to be able to deal with young people and old people, people who may complain about things.

“Obviously we would prefer if possible to have New Zealanders first and foremost, but the fact of the matter is we just haven’t got them.”

She said a survey in 2016 found that only 1 per cent of Hospitality members were able to get a suitable manager through Work and Income, and 32 per cent said it took more than six months to find a suitable manager.

Aged care nurses are already on the immediate priority list. Ryman Healthcare, the Aged Care Association and the NZ Nurses Organisation have asked for them to be added to the long-term list.

The Stonemasonry Association has asked for stonemasons to be removed from the immediate priority list.

However the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which runs Immigration NZ, has not expressed a view on whether any of the 14 occupations should be added to or taken off the lists, and has assessed them all as having only “moderate” evidence of skill shortages.

Jobs listed on the Jobs Online index actually declined in the year to June in 10 of the 14 occupations, and increased only for aged care nurses (up 27 per cent), fitters (up 14 per cent), glaziers (up 11 per cent) and wood machinists (up 10 per cent).

Immigration NZ granted 4684 essential skills visas to people in the 14 occupations in the year to June, including 1962 carpenters, 1043 cafe and restaurant managers and 708 aged care nurses.

The visas granted to aged care nurses represented 240 per cent of the total 284 registered nurses estimated to be employed in aged care, although the ministry noted that this was probably due to classification issues and asked for better information from the industry.

Visas granted in the year to June represented 15 per cent of all existing wood machinists, 13 per cent of carpenters, 7 per cent of stonemasons and 6 per cent of cafe and restaurant managers, but only minimal percentages of the other nine occupations.

The full list of occupations up for review is:

  • Carpenter (1962 work visas granted in year to June). On immediate list now. Ryman has applied to add it to long-term list.
  • Cafe Manager or Restaurant Manager (1043). Not on either list now. Restaurant Association has applied to add it to the long-term list.
  • Registered Nurse (Aged Care) (708). Already on the immediate list. Ryman, Aged Care Association and NZ Nurses Organisation have applied to add it to the long-term list.
  • Plumber (143). On list for Canterbury only now. Master Plumbers and Gasfitters and Drainlayers NZ have applied to add it to the immediate list in all regions.
  • Secondary School Teacher (127). Not on either list now. Ministry of Education and Montessori have applied to add it to the immediate list.
  • Fitter (107). Not on either list now. Timber Industry Association has applied to add it to the immediate list.
  • Early Childhood Teacher (106). Not on either list now. Ministry of Education, Early Childhood Council, Te Rito Maioha, Best Start, Kindercare and Montessori have applied to add it to the immediate list.
  • Construction Project Manager (97). Not on either list now. Window and Glass Association has applied to add it to immediate and long-term lists.
  • Primary School Teacher (86). Not on either list now. Ministry of Education and Montessori have applied to add it to the immediate and long-term lists.
  • Glazier (66). On immediate list now in Auckland, Upper North Island, Canterbury/Upper South Island. Window and Glass Association has applied to add it to the immediate list in all other regions.
  • Stonemason (61). On immediate and Canterbury lists now. Stonemasonry Association has applied to remove it.
  • Quantity Surveyor (60). Already on long-term list. Window and Glass Association has applied to add it to the immediate list too.
  • Building Associate (59). Not on either list now. Ryman Healthcare and the Window and Glass Association have applied to add it to the immediate priority list.
  • Wood Machinist (59). Not on either list now. Timber Industry Federation has applied to add it to the immediate list.

The proposed list is open for submissions until November 9 and a final list will be issued in January.

By Simon Collins, New Zealand Herald

Café Assistant Manager | South Westland Salmon Farm,

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Café Assistant Manager
South Westland Salmon Farm at Paringa, South Westland.

Do you enjoy the great outdoors and can you handle the isolation of living in a remote location?

Would you enjoy working with our great team, catering to the needs of our (mainly) tourist visitors within the beautiful South West World Heritage area?

We require an experienced, enthusiastic team player, with great communication and leadership skills

The position

Full time position (five days) with weekend work required.

Involvement in every aspect of the day to day management of the cafe.

Cooking/ baking/ food preparation Barista duties Menu development /costings Staff training/ongoing guidance Ordering/managing/ maintaining stock levels Customer service Waiting tables, clearing, dishes and cleaning Managing telephone and email bookings

The person needs

To be willingly to follow instructions
A passion for cooking and all things food

A flair for food presentation Exceptional customer service skills Leadership and supervisory skills Cooking and baking skills essential The ability to work under pressure in an organised and orderly fashion Good work ethics and high standards of hygiene and cleanliness, including personal appearance and hygiene The ability to be flexible to accommodate the needs of other staff

The person must have an excellent command of the English Language (written, spoken and understanding), must be in New Zealand now or in the near future, and be eligible to work in New Zealand with current visas and IRD status.
Recent references will be required.
Accommodation is available to rent.

Please reply in writing to cc

Support those that need our help. Join DineAid this year.

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DINEAID is a charitable initiative started over nine years ago by a small group of caring New Zealand restaurateurs to give a helping hand to New Zealanders in need.

Since DINEAID was launched, restaurants and cafes have raised and distributed more than $630,000.

Each year, during November and December DINEAID raises money through participating restaurants across New Zealand by either:

  • Adding a voluntary donation of just $2 per table to the customer’s restaurant bill, or
  • Creating a “DINEAID special” on the menu, with $2 from every dish purchased going to DINEAID

DINEAID cafe was successfully launched in 2012 with coin collection boxes in cafes throughout New Zealand. DINEAID coin boxes are placed at the cash desk for bill payers to drop in a few coins when paying their bill.

Thanks to participating cafes, restaurants and the generosity of our sponsors, 100% of all the money raised is redistributed within New Zealand to help Food Banks in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch/South Island regions. The Restaurant Association supports the DINEAID initiative and encourages members to get behind this initiative.

If you run a restaurant or a cafe, sign up here.

More to savour at Taste of Auckland

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Taste of Auckland celebrates 10th birthday with big names added to waterfront lineup.

Celebrating ten years of Auckland’s best food and drink, this year’s Taste of Auckland presented by Electrolux just keeps getting better with a host of new talent and attractions added to the line-up.

Over four delicious days and nights from 1-4 November, the annual festival is for the first time being held on Queen’s Wharf on Auckland’s waterfront, incorporating The Cloud, Shed 10 and surrounding outdoor spaces.

Announcing more Auckland restaurants set to take part in this year’s festival, newcomers include Parnell favourite Gerome offering Greek-inspired fare, Culprit with modern Kiwi yum-cha and little sister eatery Lowbrow with its take on contemporary fast food, as well as Smoko Room from Matakana bringing their infamous slow-cooked meats. Also new to the festival are Xoong with their take on North East Asian cuisine, a much-anticipated new dinner offering by vegan and plant-based favourite Little Bird Organics, and for an after-dinner treat, dessert specialists Miann.

Rounding out the line-up are festival favourites Baduzzi, promising to bring back their signature ½ Karitane crayfish, a crowd favourite at last year’s event; French bistro Paris Butter; Italian eatery Farina; and the Russian-inspired Vodka Room.

With schedules now taking shape, a host of big names are confirmed to take to the big stage in the Electrolux Taste Theatre, with free live cooking demonstrations from Nic Watt of Masu, Kira Ghidoni from The Grove, Juan Balsani of Baduzzi, Josh Barlow of the Sugar Club, Megan May from Little Bird, wholefood writer Kelly Gibney, former Masterchef finalist Vanessa Baxter, Marco Edwardes of Waiheke’s Alibi Brewers Lounge, and Neil Brazier, ex Sugar Club.

For a more intimate experience, organisers have also confirmed Nobu Lee from Clooney, Gareth Stewart from Euro, Dariush Lolaiy from Cazador, Neil Brazier former head chef at the Sugar Club and Man Mohan Singh from 1947 Eatery to host hands-on masterclasses in this year’s Electrolux ChefsSecrets. Limited to only 16 spots per session, be sure to arrive early to secure your place.

Some of the country’s top music acts including Tami Neilson, Barnaby Weir & Friends, Hollie SmithDUO, Sola Rosa Sound System, Hopetoun Brown, Laughton Kora and Omega Levine are also added to the line-up, the new venue allowing for live music to be enjoyed alfresco against a picturesque harbour backdrop.

A food lover’s paradise, inspire your palate with a smorgasbord of delicious offerings from more than 120 artisan producers including ribs from Texas BBQ Foods, premium meat cuts from Paddock to Plate Butchery, hot sauce from Fire Dragon Chillies, honey from Rawhiti Manuka Honi, olive oil from Two Dogs, pâté from Lauthentique and sweet treats from Petal Cupcakes.

Head to the new Good Taste Zone for healthy offerings from the likes of Little Bird Organics and organic and biodynamic wine specialists Churton Wines.

Sample top drops from 20 of the country’s leading wineries, take part in a new Radio Hauraki Craft Beer Trail running through the festival involving breweries including Laughing Bones, Good George, Lakeman, Harringtons, Black Dog, Tuatara and Lagunitas, and be part of a special Italian celebration of Vespa’s 50th anniversary of the first Primavera created in Italy.

Those lucky enough to secure a seat at exclusive dining events on the Thursday or Friday will enjoy choice wines from No. 1 Family Estate and exquisite menus designed by some of the biggest chef names in Auckland.

Out-of-towners pondering a weekend in the big city should check out YOU Travel’s range of travel packages including tickets, accommodation and transport. Package options include multi day or VIP passes, and exclusive food and wine tastings available only to YOU Travel clients. For more information, visit your nearest YOU Travel store or head to:

Partnering with Air New Zealand and the South Australian Tourism Commission, YOU Travel is also offering festivalgoers the chance to win a trip for two to South Australia, with a leading South Australian chef also scheduled to appear at the festival. More details to be announced soon.

With the new CBD location providing much improved access to trains, buses, taxis and ferries, organisers Lemongrass Productions are working with Fullers Ferries to ensure an easy boat ride to and from the festival from the North Shore, Waiheke, Gulf Harbour and Half Moon Bay.

Tickets are on sale now with General Admission starting from just $25, VIP Tickets from $95 and new multi day passes which include access to all six sessions from $120. Corporate Hospitality packages are also available. For more information head to the Taste website

Taste of Auckland is sponsored by Electrolux, Auckland Live, VIVA, No 1 Family Estate, Puhoi Valley Cheese, Deer Industry NZ and YOU Travel.

Head Chef | Black Berry Eatery, Papamoa

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Head Chef Required

We are looking for an experienced and ambitious Head Chef to develop, mentor and manage an amazing kitchen team for our brand new cafe/restaurant at Papamoa Beach in the stunning Bay of Plenty.

Your duties will include the creation of an exciting menu that will expose diners to innovative flavours and trends, showcasing NZ artisan food producers and offering fresh, locally sourced, wholesome produce.

Not only will our food and drinks make us a “go to destination” but so too will our commitment to providing the highest level of customer service and dining experience.

To be part of this incredible opportunity and become part of our team you will have:

  • Proven experience as head chef and kitchen management with strong understanding of menu costing, kitchen percentages, supplies levels and rostering skills.
  •  A real passion for food and able to demonstrate a high standard of food presentation and quality, consistently and under pressure
  • Credentials in health and safety training including food safety, cleanliness
  • Good skills in delegation and ability in dividing responsibilities and monitoring progress, along with outstanding communication and leadership skills.
  • Up to date knowledge of culinary trends and optimised kitchen processes
  • Proven experience in running a Food Control Plan.
  • A strong work ethic with a proven record of reliability and staying power.
  • The ability to work a flexible schedule including days, evenings, weekends and public holidays

If you have all the above and want to be part of this awesome opportunity then please send us your CV and supporting documents NOW

A great remuneration and benefit package is available for the right candidate.

Start date will include a lead in time for preparation and planning

Applicants for this position should have NZ residency or a valid NZ work permit


Large Indian Restaurant for Sale – Palmerston North Manawatu / Wanganui

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Large Indian Restaurant for Sale – Palmerston North
Manawatu / Wanganui

Well known to the local community for the exhilarating experience through friendly, courteous and knowledgeable staff, who execute and serve to exceed customer. expectations. All menu items are moderately priced. Repeat customers has been the key success to the performance of the restaurant. Superb turnover and opportunity to grow!

$160,000 plus SAV plus GST (if any)
Address Manawatu / Wanganui
Price $160,000 plus SAV
Type Restaurant Fine Dining
Floor area 210 sqm approx.
Listing ID

If interested please contact – Praveen Kumar

“Business Sales Specialist Wellington” with “Nexus Business Sales (Licensed Agent REA2008)”

m. +64 211 600 171

b. +64 4 390 6112

Barista | Columbus Coffee on Featherston, Wellington

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Columbus Coffee on Featherston is looking for an experienced and lively barista to join their busy cafe.

If you make great coffee, love your customers and looking for a great team to work with send me you CV.

If you would like to apply please send resume’s and cover letter to

Applicants must be eligible to work in New Zealand

Food for Thought – Spreading Awareness and Crossing the Tasman

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A coming together of hospitality excellence to break down the stigma surrounding mental health.

Since 2014, the annual Food for Thought charity dinners, have founded a unique collaboration of emerging and talented hospitality professionals to create exceptional dinners for a higher cause.

In 2018, Food for Thought will expand the established fundraising campaign to include the first international event with the help of Ora King Salmon and a few of New Zealand key chefs. By working together and utilising our skills and experience, we are raising awareness of the crippling effects of anxiety and depression by encouraging conversation around the dining table to help break down the stigma surrounding mental health. But it’s not just the conversation, it also a dinner to help raise funds for Mental Health New Zealand with 100% of profits from the dinner going to support the charity.

Over the last four years, Food for Thought has hosted events ranging from 6-7 course menu degustation with beverage pairing for 35-75 people to most recently a 300-person cocktail party featuring an 8-course canapé menu. The whole concept is based around a coming together of culinary excellence to use our skill and passion to combat a higher cause.

The November 2017 campaign hosted degustation events in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane resulting in just under $26,000 going to help mental health charities in Australia. While 2018 started early with a February collaboration with Arbory Bar in Melbourne which hosted the 300-person cocktail party resulting in $27,000 going to charity.

The vision for this event with the help of Ora King Salmon and Carlo Buenaventura is to bring together a group of talented kiwi chefs and going off the established concept to bring to life Food for Thought with the help of an Auckland based venue, New Zealand chefs and producers.


“In our (hospitality) industry we do witness the effects that long hours, high-pressure work environments and an often ‘just deal with it’ attitude can have, causing those suffering from anxiety and depression not to speak out. Having personally faced this, I felt a huge importance to support this cause; hence the creation of these dinners which was sparked from my own experience.”  – Mal Meiers


The Mental Health Foundation promotes the tools and behaviours that build positive mental health and wellbeing, supports people to manage mental health issues, and advocates for appropriate support, services and policies so everyone can enjoy positive mental health and wellbeing, throughout the ups and downs of life.

The charity’s aim is to increase awareness about mental health and mental illness so everyone feels comfortable asking friends and whānau if they are okay.

Information, resources and programmes are provided for free by the Mental Health Foundation, which also runs national campaigns such as New Zealand’s largest anti-bullying campaign, Pink Shirt Day, and Mental Health Awareness Week.


“My hope is to help broaden the awareness of the support that is available to not only my peers but to the wider community for all those who suffer in silence.” —Mal Meiers

Food for Thought: Auckland. Spreading Awareness and Crossing the Tasman

Event details:

Auckland: 21st October 2018
Gemmayze Street
Shop 16, St Kevin’s Arcade,
183 Karangahape Road, Auckland

Participating Chefs:
Samir Allen – Gemmayze Street
Kyle Street – Culprit
Dariush Lolaiy – Cazador
Nick Honeyman – Paris Butter
Jess Granada – Nanam Republic
Carlo Buenaventura – Cult Project
Mal Meiers – Food for Thought

All proceeds from these dinners are going to the Mental Health Foundation New Zealand.

Lifeline’s 72 Club Meals: Turning tragedy into hope, connection into meaning

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Fresh on the heels of the Restaurant Association’s Wellness Action Group, and in the spirit of creating hope and meaning out of Anthony Bourdain’s death, Lifeline Aotearoa is taking its national fundraising campaign The 72 Club to a new, social level by inviting everyone, including restaurateurs to host a 72 Club Meal. 

Since September 3, Lifeline has been highlighting their lack of government funding, and as a result, how many of their critical, life-saving calls are going unanswered. Combine this with the Coroner’s latest provisional figures, showing deaths by suicide at 668 for 2017-18, and it’s clear more has to be done. Cue The 72 Club – a positive twist on the 27 club, whose members, including Amy Winehouse and Curt Kobain, died tragically at the age of 27.

Joining the 72 Club, means finding the courage to sidestep the stigma of reaching out when you’re losing the battle, having that conversation with someone who knows what they’re doing, and then going on to lead “a life worth living”.

Now, Lifeline has launched the peer-to-peer element of its campaign, 72 Club Meals, which asks businesses, community groups and individuals to do what they do best: socialise over food. Our industry is built on it. And it’s this kind of social connection that many Lifeline callers are looking for.

In fact, recently we heard how Dariush Lolaiy (Cazador) and Rebecca Smidt, his wife and business partner, joined with friend, Conor Mertens (head chef at Orphans Kitchen) for a collaborative dinner in honour of Bourdain, with all proceeds going to Lifeline. Here was a spontaneous gathering of friends, connecting over good food and turning grief and confusion into meaningful action so that others might find the help that others tragically miss. A 72 Club Meal before it was even coined.

And it’s not stopping there. Next month, William Mordito has booked out the Restaurant Association function centre as the venue for a 40 cover pop-up restaurant, specifically to host a 72 Club Meal and to bring mental health into the mainstream.

The momentum keeps building and you don’t have to wait for the likes of Cazador and William to do something. Lifeline is willing 72 Club Meals to turn into a Kiwi phenomenon, so they are inviting all of us, especially Association members, to pledge a table at their restaurants, as a few already have, which can be used in online auctions, promoted through social media and a select number attended by high-profile celebrities. The intention is to bring together our members with a national push to normalise support for everyone, not just those in our industry, and to the reality of everyone getting to 72 and beyond.

To learn more about Lifeline’s 72 Club, visit and to jump straight in and host your own 72 Club Meal with a free donation page, register now at

To pledge a table and to have Lifeline promote this on your behalf, email


2018 Inspire+ Artisan Award winners announced

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Supermarkets, restaurants and foodservice providers are always on the lookout for the latest trend or innovation and the Inspire+ NZ Artisan Awards provide suppliers with the opportunity to be recognised, to grow their business and get in front of both the retail and foodservice markets.

The Awards celebrate the best that New Zealand’s artisan producers have to offer, and this year there were an outstanding 397 entries from which the judging panel selected 67 cutting-edge finalists. The waiting is over and the category winners have been announced, sharing one of the biggest prize pools yet, with a total value of over $50,000.

This year the judges; made up of food writers, chefs and packaging design experts, felt that the focus on fresh product showed that this category is responding particularly well to the demands of consumers for healthy convenience. Aside from the Supreme Award, there are seven category winners, each of which set the bar at the highest level in their category. The judges noted the difficulty in choosing the Supreme Award winner, but Natural Abundance took out the top prize with their Almond, Flax and Kumara Paleo Crackers. “This product was outstanding packed with flavour and an excellent fit for consumer demand for healthy, nutritious and convenient,” said Tania Walters, head judge and publisher of SupermarketNews magazine.

The Artisan Awards were created by SupermarketNews and Restaurant & Café Magazine to inspire and discover small businesses. These Awards have a strong history of success for participants, who often display exceptional creativity and potential – the past winner’s list reads as who’s who of New Zealand food producers. All finalists will be featured in the sponsoring magazines’ digital and print content over the coming months.

All finalists and category winners will be able to display the Inspire+ logo on their products, which provides recognition of product excellence for both consumers, retailers and restaurateurs. These are badges of excellence, a testament to the hard work and high quality the judges have seen and recognition of quality, innovation, consumer appeal, and taste.

Although artisan producers are often restricted to their local areas, the Inspire+ NZ Artisan Awards are designed to offer smaller businesses nationwide exposure. The 2018 entries included everything from honey-roasted crickets to wild sauerkraut and Egyptian-style beer – the foodservice and food retailing industries have plenty to be inspired by, and it is clear that the future of local food production is in exceptional hands.

Thanks to the sponsors of the 2018 Inspire+ NZ Artisan awards. Thanks in particular to New World, the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council, the New Zealand Chefs Association, and the New Zealand Restaurant Association for their support of artisan food and drink, and to SupermarketNews and Restaurant & Café magazine for their ongoing dedication to small businesses.

Finalists and Winners are listed below. Congratulations to all finalists and the Category winners and the Supreme winner.

2018 Inspire+ Artisan Award Winners

Frozen Winner
Little Bo
Frozen Organic Smoothie Cubes

Fresh Winner
Paleo Seed and Paleo Rustic Bread

Ambient Winner
Finom Ltd
Peanut, Cashew, and Macadamia Brittles

Deli/Chilled Winner
Texas BBQ Foods
Smoked Beef Brisket & Smoked Pork Belly

Alcoholic Winner
Kererū Brewing Company
Holy Cow! Strong Red Egyptian Ale

Non-Alcoholic Winner
Greenleaf Organics
Pineapple Switchel

New World PitchMe Special Award Winner
Stracchino Double Pack

Supreme Award Winner
Natural Abundance
Almond, Flax, and Kumara Paleo Crackers