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Las Vegas Chefs Take New Zealand To The World

Trade New Zealand And Las Vegas Chefs Take New Zealand To The World

Wednesday 10 April 2002

Trade New Zealand is taking Las Vegas "down under" this week by hosting three eminent Las Vegas casino chefs on a tour to promote New Zealand food and wine.

The tour group includes Greg Waldron, Vice President Food and Beverage and James Perillo, Executive Chef both of Caesars Palace, and Christopher Johns, Executive Chef of The Orleans Hotel and Casino.

The seven-day tour is an important part of Trade New Zealand's strategy to build food and beverage exports to the US - New Zealand's second largest trading partner.

"Food and beverage products make up nearly 60% or NZ$2.8 billion of New Zealand's total trade to the US," says Trade New Zealand's General Manager Marketing, Rod MacKenzie.

Mr MacKenzie says that one of the key objectives of the tour is provide some context for New Zealand products.

"By bringing these chefs to New Zealand we have the chance to showcase our products in their natural environment. The chefs will be able to see the entire farming process, from 'grass to plate' in action."

While in New Zealand, the chefs will visit the country's foremost food and wine regions including Queenstown, Marlborough, the Hawkes Bay and Auckland.

The tour programme includes experiences as diverse as visiting an organic salmon and koura (New Zealand crayfish) farm; viewing the animal management process at one of the country's most remote deer farms; tasting wines and organic olive oils; and shopping at a fresh produce market which specialises in food from the Pacific Islands.

Trade New Zealand selected these chefs on the basis of their reputation and influence.

"These chefs run some of the largest food and beverage operations in Las Vegas. As they make the purchasing decisions in their respective businesses, familiarising people like them with New Zealand products will, in the long term, help grow our food and beverage exports," Mr MacKenzie says.

Trade New Zealand, the New Zealand Government's export and investment promotion agency, is mandated to help increase New Zealand's foreign exchange earnings and encourage direct investment.

The chefs flew to New Zealand courtesy of Air New Zealand.


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