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Posts in Culinary


July 30th, 2020 Posted by Culinary 0 comments on “Marc de PASSORIO”

Born in Cameroon and raised on Reunion Island, Marc de Passorio only had one goal as young chef –to go to France, train at the highest level and come back and open the first Michelin-starred restaurant in the Indian Ocean. And that’s exactly what he did, achieving that much lauded star not once, but multiple times. Having opened restaurants internationally and consulted in places like Singapore, Israel and Russia (where he cooked for Vladimir Putin) he fell head over heels in love with New Zealand on a trip in 2012.

When the opportunity presented itself to live here and set up the kitchen at Harbour Society the new SO/ Auckland hotel, he didn’t hesitate, and now happily calls Auckland home. Marc’s passion for only using the best produce available is unsurpassed, and he’s bringing 38 years of international knowledge and combining it with stunning local ingredients to create a world class Michelin-worthy experience for Auckland diners.

Marc joined the the Bocuse d’Or New Zealand team in 2019 as a culinary judge at the NZ national selection and is now the team Coach for the Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific 2020.


April 14th, 2017 Posted by Culinary 0 comments on “Ben BAYLY”

Born and raised on a dairy farm in Waikato, New Zealand. Ben as a young chef won Commis Chef of the Year 1999, National Youth Skills 2000 and the Bill Gallagher scholarship at Johnson and Wales University of Culinary Arts in Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

Bayly then spent the next 8 years working in famed restaurants around the world. Fenix in Melbourne, Le Crique in Las Vegas, The Square & the Ledbury in the U.K, Restaurant Jean-Paul Jeunet and Atelier de Joel Robuchon in France.

In 2009 Bayly returned home to New Zealand and is the executive chef of the 3 Hat restaurant-The Grove. In 2013 Bayly opened the Italian Baduzzi in the North Wharf, immediately gaining 2 Hats in the Cuisine Good Food Guide.

Other Awards include Metro Supreme Restaurant of the Year award 2010 & 2011, and Best Cuisine Metropolitan restaurant 2012, Best speciality restaurant 2014 & Cuisine Good Food Guide Chef of the Year 2014.


April 14th, 2017 Posted by Culinary 0 comments on “Matt LAMBERT”

Executive Chef & Co-Owner, The Musket Room – Chef Matt Lambert marries his New Zealand heritage with a modern, innovative culinary technique at The Musket Room, where he is the Executive Chef and Co-owner, in partnership with restaurateur Jennifer Vitagliano and Manager Barbara, his wife.

Lambert’s menu draws inspiration from his Kiwi upbringing, experience working in New York City’s best kitchens and passion for locally sourced produce. Under his leadership, The Musket Room received a highly coveted Michelin Star, just four months after opening in May of 2013. Born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Lambert knew from a young age that he wanted to be a chef.

After applying for his first job at age 11 (the chef told him to come back when he was of age), Matt first found himself in a kitchen at 14, washing dishes and getting to know the industry that would become his life. At 16, he was granted an apprenticeship with New Zealand restaurateur Garry Bates, an experience which lead to his acceptance into the Culinary Program at Auckland University of Technology.

In 1999, Lambert relocated to Wellington, New Zealand, where he worked in various restaurants while completing his degree at Whitireia Community Polytechnic.

Shortly after graduating, Lambert and his mother opened a café called Sun Seair. Realizing that he still had a lot to learn about the business, Lambert returned to Auckland to work at Mediterranean mainstay, Red, and alongside Chef Michael Meredith at The Grove, where he met his future wife Barbara.

There, Lambert honed his craft and developed a passion for combining classical techniques with Asian flavors. Meredith impressed Lambert with his ability to stay current on global culinary trends, and it was, in part, with his encouragement that Lambert went to the United States.

Soon after relocating with Barbara to her home state, Lambert was hired as a sous chef at John’s Café in Woodbury, CT. Lambert loved working with local farmers to create his seasonal menus, while combining various American ingredients with those of New Zealand.

After two years at John’s Café, Lambert secured a position at PUBLIC, a one star Michelin-rated restaurant owned by the AvroKO group. There, he was quickly promoted to Sous Chef at their sister restaurant Double Crown and eventually worked his way up to Chef de Cuisine of PUBLIC and Saxon + Parole, which opened in 2011.

In his time with AvroKO, Lambert had the opportunity to compete on “Chopped” on the Food Network, taking home first place at the end of the episode.

When not in the kitchen, Lambert enjoys spending time with his son, traveling and playing the drums. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @MusketMatt.


April 14th, 2017 Posted by Culinary 0 comments on “Michael COUGHLIN”

Michael left school at 16 to pursue a cooking career in the Royal New Zealand Army, things didn’t go according to plan and after a severe knee injury, Michael found himself back in his home town of Dunedin, looking to continue where he left off.

Michael completed his training as a chef at the Otago Polytechnic, whilst filling a multitude of kitchen positions in Central Otago and Dunedin , gleaning as much knowledge and skill that he could.

Of the 33 years Michael has been cooking he has spent 28 of these self employed in various operations in Alexandra and Clyde to his 18 years as Chef / Patron at the celebrated Bell Pepper Blues Restaurant in Dunedin.

Michael’s passion for food and especially his enthusiasm for meat is reflected in his success of winning many cooking competitions including Southern Venison Plate, the Nation Cervena Plates, he has been a four time selected Ambassador for Beef & Lamb New Zealand and current life time Platinum Ambassador with 3 fellow chefs that hold this very exclusive title.

Michael has currently focused his skills and passion to the opening up and running of the Pier24 kitchen at Newly built Hotel on St Clair Beach “Hotel St Clair” that was built and opened 5 years ago.

Alongside this busy operation, Michael spends a great deal of his time consulting and working with the Product Development & Marketing team from Silver Fern Farms up and down the Country, which is why he is here today to help us share with you our ‘Plate to Pasture Story”


April 14th, 2017 Posted by Culinary 0 comments on “Michael MEREDITH”

Chef Michael Meredith was born in Samoa, and moved to New Zealand when he was 13. His passion for food and cooking was born when he enrolled at Auckland University of Technology.

After that he left to study at The Culinary Institute of America for several months and then staged at several top-notch Manhattan restaurants, including Montrachet, March, and Gramercy Tavern.

Upon his return to New Zealand, Meredith worked his way through the best of Auckland’s kitchens: Antoine’s, Vinnies, and then as the founding chef of The Grove.

In September of 2007 Meredith opened his eponymous restaurant in Mt. Eden, Auckland. Since its opening, Merediths has received numerous accolades, including the Metro Audi Restaurant Award of Supreme Winner and also the Cuisine Restaurant of the year 2012 and recently Michael won Metro Audi Ward of Best Chef 2012.