Tuesday, 02 April 2024 10:39

B+LNZ unveils Ambassador Chefs

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Left to Right: Dean Thompson, Chetan Pangam, Mrinal Ghosal, and Cameron Davies. Left to Right: Dean Thompson, Chetan Pangam, Mrinal Ghosal, and Cameron Davies.

Four talented chefs have been selected by Beef + Lamb New Zealand to serve as their next Ambassador Chefs.

Over a two-year term, the chefs will represent a diverse range of culinary styles. They hail from various regions across New Zealand, each bringing their own unique flair to the table.

The 2024/2025 Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chefs are:

  • Cameron Davies, The Fat Duck Te Anau
  • Chetan Pangam, One80° Restaurant, Wellington
  • Dean Thompson, Schnappa Rock, Tutukaka
  • Mrinal Ghosal, Mudbrick Restaurant, Waiheke Island

For more than a quarter of a century, Beef + Lamb New Zealand has been recognising and highlighting the immense talent within the New Zealand culinary scene and are proud to see the accolade remains highly sought after in today’s hospitality industry.

Foodservice manager, Lisa Moloney says these chefs will help shine a light on the New Zealand food story with inspiration, innovation and elevation of New Zealand grass fed beef and lamb at the heart.

“We see the role of the Ambassador Chefs to lead the way in celebrating New Zealand producers and their produce by telling the paddock to plate story through their menus,” says Moloney.

Davies says he feels proud and humbled to be chosen for the second time as a Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chef.

“I grew up in rural New Zealand so to be able to support the farming community, especially here in Southland is pretty special,” says Davies.

At the other end of the country, Thompson, head chef at Schnappa Rock in Tutukaka is one of the youngest chefs to be named as a Beef + Lamb Ambassador at the age of 27.

“I’ve been following the Ambassador Chef programme since I was 18,” says Thompson. “Now, almost ten years on, I’m stoked to have been selected and to be part of such a talented group of chefs.”

Ghosal is the head chef at Mudbrick Restaurant on Waiheke Island, known for his culinary creativity using simple ingredients in experimental ways.  After working internationally, he returned home to use his creative flair to highlight and showcase beef and lamb on his menu.

 “It’s exciting to be named a Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chef.  It’s always been my goal to ensure all the hard work done by New Zealand farmers is showcased on the plate.  It feels amazing to be selected to represent an organisation that holds such significance within the hospitality sector,” he says.

Executive Chef at One80° Restaurant, Pangam is well-known on Wellington’s hospitality scene. He is legendary for his Beef Wellington which has starred on his menu for over fifteen years.

“It was a surreal moment when I heard the news,” says Pangam.

“It’s been on my bucket list for quite some time. I feel very proud and grateful to receive this accolade, as New Zealand beef and lamb play such a pivotal role on our menu and I love showcasing the work our farmers carry out to both our local and international guests.”

To enter, chefs applied featuring their most creative, tasty and visually appealing beef and lamb dishes. Applicants were shortlisted with the help of a Beef + Lamb New Zealand advisory panel, with the finalists having their dishes anonymously assessed in their restaurants earlier this year by culinary-trained experts.

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