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Celebrity Chefs Go Back To Grassroots Via Air NZ

Wednesday 13 November – For immediate release


Celebrity Chefs Go Back To Grassroots In Community Initiative From Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand today unveiled a new initiative to bring international celebrity chefs to New Zealand for student masterclasses aimed at inspiring the next generation of Kiwi cooks.

As part of its commitment to showcasing New Zealand food and wine to the world, the airline is developing a “Chefs in the Community” partnership with top catering schools around New Zealand.

Top tips from the kitchens of the famous Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, the acclaimed Providores restaurant in London and one of Australia’s most celebrated restaurants, e’cco bistro in Brisbane, will be shared with aspiring chefs on catering courses at institutes around New Zealand.

In the first of these, Philip Johnson of e’cco bistro in Brisbane will today conduct a masterclass for students at Manukau Institute of Technology’s hospitality and catering school at 4pm. The programme will roll-out in full next year to a number of other catering establishments around New Zealand – details are still being finalised.

The ambitious concept has been strongly supported by Air New Zealand’s trio of international chefs who create inflight cuisine for the international airline – New Zealand born Peter Gordon, known as the founding chef of The Sugar Club in London and now with his newest venture, The Providores; his compatriot Philip Johnson of e’cco and Japanese born Katsuo ‘Suki’ Sugiura of The Beverley Hills Hotel, regarded as one of the world’s finest exponents of East meets West cuisine.

Air New Zealand Launches Chefs in the Community….2


For Peter and Philip, in particular, the scheme represents the opportunity to give something back to the next generation of New Zealand chefs.

Peter Gordon commented: “As a passionate New Zealander, I’m delighted to support this masterclass idea. It’s great that my work for Air New Zealand will enable me to directly work with young chefs back home and share some of my experiences. If that helps inspire their work and ambitions, then I’m thrilled.”

Philip Johnson added: “I have all the time in the world for young people who are driven in pursuit of excellence, as I am. We need these people, full of creativity and energy, to build on what has already been achieved. A good training is the key to our next generation of young chefs.

“It is a credit to Air New Zealand, when they first introduced the chefs’ programme on international services, they were thinking outside the square. I am absolutely confident that the standard of inflight food and service is all the better for it.”

Air New Zealand’s focus on its food and wine programme, which covers inflight cuisine on international routes as well as the international lounge network, is an important part of the airline’s customer offering.

Andrew Miller, Chief Operating Officer, described the Chefs in the Community initiative as ‘an innovative extension of our commitment to superb food and wine on our international services.”

He added: “We believe we should showcase the very best New Zealand wines and create inflight menus for the international arena that reflect the diversity of New Zealand flavours. For many customers this is their first taste of the food and wine of our region.”

For further information: Air New Zealand Public Affairs (09) 336 2761

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