Claudelands, Hamilton
5th & 6th May 2018


We are currently securing a number of fantastic New Zealand chefs to cook up a storm and entertain you in the Heathcote Appliances Cooking Theatre! See below who we have confirmed so far, otherwise you can also check out a few of the chefs that attended in 2016!


JOSH EMETT (Proudly brought to you by Wintec)

Critically acclaimed chef, Josh Emett (proudly brought to you by Wintec), came from humble beginnings growing up on a dairy farm just outside Hamilton. After studying to be a chef at Waikato Polytechnic he quickly progressed to fine dining restaurants in Auckland and Melbourne and then moved to London and worked for Gordon Ramsay for over 10 years, quickly becoming head chef at the world renowned Savoy Grill (1 michelin star) before opening restaurants for Gordon Ramsay in New York (2 michelin stars), Los Angeles (1 michelin star) and Melbourne.

In 2011 Josh took on the role of judging Masterchef New Zealand making him a household across New Zealand and continued on through 5 seasons of the hit show. In 2012 Josh returned to NZ and set up his first restaurant, Rata in Queenstown, in 2013 he opened Ostro in the Britomart precinct of Auckland's downtown area as food director. In 2014 he opened Madam Woo in Queenstown, a casual Malaysian restaurant to huge success. Seeing how popular this was he has gone on to open three more Madam Woos in Dunedin, Takapuna and just recently in Hamilton with more locations to come.


Chelsea_Winter promo image

One of New Zealand’s favourite cooks and best-selling cookbook authors, Chelsea Winter is ensuring New Zealanders make everyday, delicious.  With a philosophy of real, tasty, relaxed and honest food; Chelsea Winter is revisiting the The Great NZ Food Show 2017 to teach you how to become a legend in your own kitchen.

Chelsea’s books, At My TableEveryday Delicious, Homemade Happiness and Scrumptious are all best-sellers and have quickly become institutions in many homes around the country.

Chelsea's easygoing, cheerful, and fresh approach, using everyday ingredients in a balanced manner, has seen people of all ages and experience levels become confident in the kitchen. “It’s about creating wholesome recipes using accessible ingredients with a twist to create some deliciousness”, says Chelsea.


He juggles bubbling pots and questions from the audience with ease. Former teacher-turned cooking whiz Brett McGregor’s new career is sizzling.

The inaugural Master Chef winner’s life has lately been a whirlwind of TV gigs and live food demonstrations, with the odd stint as off-shore tour guide thrown in for good measure.

When he’s not whipping up culinary delights in the kitchen he’s chilling out with family at the beach, sorting through his 100-strong spice collection, planning the ultimate road trip across America, and counting his secret stash of Pixie Caramel bars.

He juggles bubbling pots and questions from the audience with ease. Former teacher-turned cooking whiz Brett McGregor’s new career is sizzling.

The inaugural Master Chef winner’s life has lately been a whirlwind of TV gigs and live food demonstrations, with the odd stint as off-shore tour guide thrown in for good measure.

When he’s not whipping up culinary delights in the kitchen he’s chilling out with family at the beach, sorting through his 100-strong spice collection, planning the ultimate road trip across America, and counting his secret stash of Pixie Caramel bars.


Neena and Belinda promo image

This fabulous cooking duo were the first winners of the New Zealand television series, My Kitchen Rules!

Belinda is a qualified food technology teacher and has been a dedicated foodie all her life.  She is passionate about creating beautiful seasonal medicinal meals which incorporate healing elements that are nourishing for the whole family. Not everyone can afford to buy superfoods from wholefood stores but with this approach of foraging everyone can incorporate healing greens and superfoods into their daily diet for little or no cost at all.

Neena has been through a huge learning curve since the birth of her twin girls. From allergies, to gluten intolerance, behavioural issues to sugar free and everything in between. Neena now knows it’s been the biggest blessing to go on that journey and pop out the other side to where she stands today.  Neena is a qualified nutrition & wellness coach and she studied at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition which focuses on a holistic approach to wellness.

Together Neena and Belinda developed the Green Kitchen,, where they like to take a holistic approach to food and fuel. Their philosophy is based on "wellness through awareness" so there is always an element of education and empowerment in everything they teach.

Carl Houben


Waikato born and bred, Carl has worked in some of New Zealand’s finest culinary establishments, and won many awards.

Carl is also currently mentoring our future generation of chefs at WINTEC.



Current Chef Tutor at Wintec and Chief Judge for the 2015 Waikato Culinary Fare, Shannon is no stranger to the big stage.  2 Time Runner up for New Zealand Chef of the Year, and 3 time Finalist on the Monteiths Wild Food Challenge including the Televised series in which fellow local Industry Superstar Andrew Clarke featured on, Several Beef and Lamb Awards and even former Waikato Chef of the Year in his earlier years.  He credits his success as a Chef to Sacrifice, Commitment, Determination and Dedication which is something he is trying to ingrain into the younger crop of cooks coming through.

The past 19 years of industry has seen him climb the ranks and eventually become both Self Employed as an Executive Chef Consultant in Queensland to running several 4&5 Star Resorts and has also aligned himself with quality establishments throughout NZ and Australia.  “I think looking back, I have been blessed to have landed some very big roles so now I feel it’s the right time I give back to my industry and train the next generation”.

Last year saw Shannon train 8 top Wintec students to compete at the New Zealand Culinary Fare and all 8 came back with medals and massive smiles on their faces.  We even snatched Gold in one event which was a massive achievement for the student and also Wintec as a training provider.

My food philosophy… “simply, love what you do and treat the humble ingredients with the respect they deserve” and have fun!


Mat McLean Palate Restaurant_small

Mat McLean has established a reputation as one of New Zealand's leading chefs and Palate is regarded as one of New Zealand's best restaurants.

After gaining professional qualifications form Waikato Polytechnic, Mat was awarded a scholarship to work in the UK, where he gained invaluable work experience at two of London's most prestigious Michelin Star restaurants. Following a stint in Melbourne he returned to New Zealand to establish Palate in 2005.

Mat has been a Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chef since 2009 and is one of only a handful of chefs in New Zealand who now hold the Platinum status.  He is a chef with highly developed technical skills, who's committed to cooking with seasonal, local product and is not afraid to experiment with flavours and textures.

Palate has won more national restaurant awards than any other dining establishment in the Waikato including the Best Regional Restaurant in New Zealand in the Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year Awards in 2012.  In 2014 Mat McLean was announced 'Premier Master of Fine Cuisine' in the inaugural Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards. Palate is also one of just two restaurants in Hamilton to win an Entertainment gold award for 2014.



Vicki works for Nourish Magazine and is a part of the Waikato Food Inc. As a self confessed foodie, Nourish allows me to combine my obsession with all things culinary along with the skills and knowledge I have gathered from the last 20 years in the hospitality industry. Born and bred in the Waikato, after several years away, I love being back.  Nourish allows me to highlight the depth and breadth of treasures we have in our own backyard.  Often to the surprise and delight of our readers who now no longer need to look to other regions when discussing great food.

My role at Nourish is varied, from recipe development and photography to writing and researching stories, getting to know and understand our clients and readers alike, as well as discovering great new talent and building a dynamic team to enable Nourish to continue to grow.



Sam Mannering is the author of the bestselling books ‘Food Worth Making’ and 'A Year's Worth: Recipes from Dunsandel Store'. He cooks, writes about it, and sometimes acts a bit too. He studied at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. He is the weekly food columnist in the Sunday Star Times, and is a contributor to Cuisine, House and Garden and UNO magazine.

He is the Executive Chef and co-owner of Homestead in Auckland. His ethos around food involves the use of simple, fresh and seasonal flavours; drawing much of his inspiration from chefs like Fergus Henderson and Antonio Carluccio, he has never been one to complicate things too much; less is definitely more!



Andrew Clarke is a renowned chef in the Waikato and has made his name in some of the city’s most prominent restaurants such as Gails of Tamahere and Tables on the River. To broaden his abilities, Andrew spent a number of years in Melbourne working under celebrity British chef Justin Derrick in the Marque Hotel and as Chef de Partie in Treasury Restaurant at the Sebel. Andrew returned to Hamilton to a position at Balcony Restaurant where he took on his first Head Chef role. In 2007 Andrew went out on his own, opening OneZB restaurant and during the following three years was awarded the 2008 regional title in the Monteith’s Wild Food Challenge and national runner up in the Corban’s Perfect Wine and Food Match.

Career Highlights
- Monteith’s Wild Food Challenge Finalist, five times / 2014 Winner
- Supreme Winner of the Matariki Dish Challenge
- Being on the televised Monteith’s Wild Food Challenge
- Receiving 1 Hat in the Cuisine Good Food Guide at Victoria St Bistro
- Being named Best regional restaurant in the Cuisine Good Food guide at Victoria St Bistro
- Beef and Lamb Ambassador Chef in 2016

Nathan Hartley

Nathan Sky City

Nathan Hartley, Head of Food and Beverage, SKYCITY Hamilton
Nathan has been in NZ now for 9 years and worked previously in the finest of luxury hotels in Auckland including the Stamford Plaza and the Langham.

Prior to moving to NZ, Nathan has worked as Executive Chef in the Natural History Museum in London and has also worked in several places around the world including Sydney and the Caribbean.

Jay and Sarah

Jay & Sarah

Jay and Sarah are an inspirational young couple, parents of three, lifestyle Social Influencers and passionate home cooks. They both have a love for food, fun times and most importantly everything to do with their young family.

Their love of food led them on a journey to compete on TVNZ’s most popular reality cooking TV series “My Kitchen Rules Season 2”. The home cooks continued to entertain and wow the viewers with their fresh and flavoursome dishes that included an array of healthy alternatives that definitely impressed the judges, and saw them finish as proud Semifinalist. They are excited to finally release their first family cookbook “Jay and Sarah’s – Fresh and Affordable Family Food” and will be in production filming their first online cooking series in June.


Their cookbook showcases a buffet of easy and exciting recipes for nutritious and affordable meals, with a range of family feeding tips including snack ideas for kids, healthy breakfasts, tasty salads, delicious dinners, guilt free sweets and desserts as well as dressings, dips and sauces to spice up your meals.

Jay has a background in TV Production Management and Promotions, and Sarah is a Make-up Artist and Mother Extraordinaire.

The proud Waikato couple are excited to be returning home to Hamilton to do their first cooking demo at the Great NZ Food Show.

Toby Elliottyson

Toby Elliottyson pic

Chef/Owner of Smith & McKenzie Steak House

I am a Hamilton trained chef with over 20 years experience, including owing restaurants in Hamilton & Coromandel. I am passionate about local produce, and have a simple food philosophy, that using the best freshest ingredients will give you the best results.

Nick Keenan

Nick Keenan 2

Originally from Tauranga, Nick has been a chef with the Lawrenson Group for 6 years and enjoys seeing the evolution of the Hamilton food culture.

A previous national winner of the NZ Beef & Lamb Burger Competition, he finds his culinary inspiration from the amazing meat, produce and seafood New Zealand has to offer.

Shannon Mathers

Shannon Mathers 2

Shannon Mathers, grew up in Pirongia. She has a degree in tourism and hospitality management, and a diploma in patisserie. She is currently head chef at Keystone, and has been for the last 6 months.

Shannon started as a commis chef 3 years ago at Keystone and has worked her way up.

Ericson Pascua

Ericson Pascua id pic2

Head chef at Furnace Restaurant

Born in the Philippines.

New Zealand is my home!

Love the taste of fresh asian cuisine and locally grown produce in the Waikato.

Been cooking for 8 years

Worked under Andrew Clarke for 7 years at Victoria St bistro as his sous chef

The Great NZ Food Show