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Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chefs Revealed

Beef + Lamb New Zealand has announced four chefs who will be their next Ambassadors to act as leaders driving innovation and creativity using New Zealand beef and lamb within the foodservice sector.  The four talented chefs will hold the title throughout 2022 and 2023.

The 2022 – 2023 Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chefs are:

Congratulations! The Restaurant Association is proud to be supporting our member’s leading the industry.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand have been highlighting a wealth of talented chefs in New Zealand for over a quarter of a century, and are proud to see the accolade is still sought after and relevant in today’s hospitality climate.   These four chefs will join the Beef + Lamb New Zealand ‘Hall of Fame’ which includes Phil Clark, Peter Gordon, Kate Fay and Rex Morgan to name a few.

Foodservice Manager, Lisa Moloney says the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on New Zealand’s hospitality scene has reached a critical point with chefs and restaurant owners under a lot of pressure, and Beef + Lamb NZ wanted to reach out to the chef community and give them the opportunity to strive towards something uplifting.

“Not only are chefs putting together well-thought-out beef and lamb dishes with interesting flavour combinations, but the level of execution is very high.  With such a high standard, it was a tough decision whittling it down to four chefs.

The 2022 -2023 Ambassadors:

BJ Sebastian is executive head chef at Mudbrick Vineyard on Waiheke Island, and says he was quite overwhelmed to be chosen as an Ambassador Chef, especially given he first studied to be an accountant before changing career paths to become a chef.

“I would describe myself as an ambitious chef so to receive this accolade is an amazing reward for all my hard work,” says BJ.  “I am quite experimental with my dishes, especially when it comes to fermentation, and I think this opens some new and interesting flavour pathways when working with New Zealand beef and lamb.”

Chef and owner Andrew May runs Palmerston North-based restaurant, Amayjen with his wife Jenni.  Andrew is back for his second term as a Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chef after first achieving the accolade back in 2019.

“I really enjoyed being part of the Beet + Lamb New Zealand team and I’m honoured to be chosen again.  As a chef it really showcases my commitment to using the best products our farmers grow, which gives me the confidence to deliver consistently high-quality meals to every customer,” says Andrew.  “It’s an incredible achievement, and to have the support of Beef + Lamb New Zealand again to highlight what I am doing, is invaluable in the current hospitality climate.”

Wellington-based chef, MacLean Fraser is executive chef of Artisan at Bolton Hotel, and says being named as an Ambassador Chef has been on his career bucket list for a long time.

“I was really stoked to hear the news – I have had many career highlights, but this would have to up there as one of the best,” says MacLean.  “Looking at the line-up of finalists, it’s amazing to get to this level with my peers and then to go on to be selected by Beef + Lamb New Zealand to represent the industry and showcase the amazing products grown here, is just incredible.” 

Chef Cameron Davies owns and runs The Fat Duck in Te Anau with his fiancé, Selina. He is immensely proud to receive the accolade and get the recognition, not just for himself, but for the whole team. 

“I feel really privileged to be in this situation and am excited about the future and the opportunities that will unfold as an Ambassador Chef,” says Cameron.  “There have been chefs I have looked up to over the years who have been Ambassadors for Beef + Lamb New Zealand and now to be on their level is very special.”

This article was originally posted on Restaurant Association New Zealand, 30th March 2022