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Distinction Hotels Chef Ken O’Connell Wins Chef of the Year

Media Release 27 August 2013
Distinction Hotels Chef Ken O’Connell Wins NZ Chef of the Year

Southern Region Group Executive Chef, Ken O’Connell of Distinction Hotels has been awarded the prestigious New Zealand Chef of the Year title at the 2013 Culinary Fare held in Auckland.

Chef O’Connell topped a field of 10 elite chefs from around New Zealand, earning the only gold award in the static presentation section of an entrée and main course.

Distinction Hotels Chief Executive, Duncan Fletcher said “the entire Distinction Hotels team shares great pride in Ken’s win. We are extremely privileged to have Ken working as our Southern Region Group Executive Chef.”

Based in Te Anau for the past year, Chef O’Connell is responsible for overseeing the kitchen teams based at the four southern region Distinction Hotels. His flair for sourcing the freshest ingredients and turning them into imaginative flavour combinations has boosted Distinction Hotels’ restaurants popularity and reputation. Mr Fletcher said “this award speaks volumes for our top class cuisine which both guests and visitors are able to appreciate when dining at our restaurants. We are constantly looking to improve what we are doing as a hotel group and Ken’s recognition certainly reinforces this search for excellence in all that we do.”

The culinary event requires competitors to undergo months of planning and training, something which obviously paid off for Chef O’Connell, as this is his second time winning the title. “It means more to me this time, as it cements my skills, knowledge and ability as a chef. I hope this inspires the young chefs in my kitchens, that anything is possible with hard work, training and pushing yourself to be the best.”

About Distinction Hotels Group
100% New Zealand owned and operated the Distinction Hotel Group currently offer six premium hotels in the North and South Island, featuring elegant accommodation, comprehensive conference venue facilities and excellent on-site restaurants. Distinction Hotels pride themselves on providing an international standard of accommodation for the discerning traveller. In 2011 the group launched their 'sister' Discovery brand. Discovery Hotels offer a range of great value accommodation options to suit all travellers, combined with true outstanding 'kiwi' hospitality.

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