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Hospitality industry salutes community leaders

Hospitality industry salutes community leaders

The hospitality industry has saluted its community leaders at its long-running Feast By Famous Chefs dinner in Auckland tonight (13 Sept.).

Wellington Restaurateur Mike Egan, Auckland entrepreneur and restaurant owner Michael Meredith and Conscious Consumers have all been honoured for their special contributions.

The awards were announced at the dinner presented by four leading Kiwi chefs as part of a two-day Hospitality Summit organised by The Restaurant Association of New Zealand ‘the association’ that concludes tomorrow (Monday 14 Sept.).


Mike Egan has been inducted in to the Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame which recognises individuals who have given and continue to give exceptional service to the hospitality industry*.

Mike Egan is regarded as one of the pioneers of Wellington hospitality opening numerous successful establishments, probably the most notable being Monsoon Poon (Wellington and Auckland) and Boulcott St Bistro.

He has been the voice for the industry in Wellington, represented it on numerous steering groups and Committees and was part of the steering group that conceptualised Wellington on a plate. Mike dedicates his life to the restaurant industry. When he is not travelling the world absorbing all the trends, innovations and building a network in the restaurant industry he is at home working hard in his various successful hospitality businesses.

Amongst a huge range of additional achievements he has also given years of his time and guidance in his role as Restaurant Association national president, Wellington branch president and as a Restaurant Association Education Trust Trustee.

CEO of The Restaurant Association of New Zealand Marisa Bidois says hospitality is part of the country’s social fibre and cornerstone of our economy.

“It’s an industry that creates opportunity, careers or just a start. Nearly half of all New Zealanders have worked in the food service industry. As the national president of the Association Mike has consistently given back to the industry. He is an excellent operator and an inspiration to the industry, just as are all our award winners.”

Previous Hall of Fame inductees** have included some of the industry’s most celebrated members including Bob Sell (1992), Tony Astle (1997), Judith Tabron (2002) and Simon Gault (2011) and Michael Van de Elzen (2012).

Renowned Auckland restaurateur Michael Meredith from Merediths has been honoured with the Good Neighbour Award 2015 ***sponsored by American Express together with $2,000 to support a

charity or community project they are involved in.

Meredith has deep community involvement most recently in the Eat My Lunch school lunch project and through his Mt Eden restaurant’s dine-by-donation nights. He is a Fred Hollows Foundation‘Miracle Maker’ and has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the foundation through auctions, dinners and direct appeals.

Meredith has also participated in the Live Below the Line global initiative aiming to build a movement to end the extreme poverty experienced by 1.2 billion people world-wide.

Conscious Consumers has been honoured with the Innovator of the Year Award****. It is a New Zealand-based social enterprise that connects businesses, with a particular focus on the hospitality sector, with customers interested in social and environmental issues.

The business operates in Wellington, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury, and Otago with plans to add more regions in the near future.

Conscious Consumers assesses hospitality businesses and their suppliers for 12 practices that make good business sense, respect people and the environment and reflect current conscious consumer preferences. Badges are awarded for each practice, which are displayed on business’ websites. Since setting up the scheme five years ago it has accredited more than 400 businesses throughout New Zealand.


The second annual Hospitality Summit drew industry representatives from around the country with more than 300 attending the awards presentation and Feast by Famous Chefs dinner emceed by leading chef and media personality Nici Wickes.

The event has been a feature of the hospitality industry calendar since 1992 and featured four leading chefs preparing an exclusive four course dinner. In 2015 the chefs were Jinu Abraham (executive chef, Heritage Auckland, Tom Hishon (head chef & owner, Orphans Kitchen, Auckland), Daniel Wilson (chef, Huxtable & Huxtaburger, Melbourne) and Catherine Adams (pastry chef, Whitebait Wellington).


*Admission to the Restaurant Association Hall of Fame is reserved for those who have made an extensive and on-going commitment to New Zealand’s hospitality industry. The Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame is voted on by members of the Association.

** Previous Hall of Fame inductees: 1992 Bob Sell, 1993 Otto Groen, 1994 Don Fletcher, 1995 Des Britten, 1996 Tony Adcock, 1997 Tony Astle, 1998 Pierre Meyer, 1999 Remiro Bresolin, 2001 Valerie Littlejohn, 2002 Judith Tabron, 2003 Tonic Farac, 2004 Mervyn and Rae Ah Chee, 2005 Ruth Pretty, 2006 Michael Lee- Richards, 2007 Fleur Sullivan, 2008 John Lawrence, 2009 Clive Weston, 2010 Steve Logan, 2011 Simon Gault, 2012 Michael Van de Elzen, 2013 John Hellebrekers and 2014 Michael Turner.

***Through The Good Neighbour Award, the Restaurant Association, together with founding sponsor American Express, recognise and award a Restaurant Association member who is involved in doing outstanding things in community service and honours those ‘paying it forward’. Each year the award winner receives $2,000 to support a charity or community project they are involved in. The Good Neighbour Award is selected by sponsor American Express who receives nominations from the industry. In 2015, 48 nominations were received for The Good Neighbour Award.

****The Innovator of the Year Award goes to an individual or company who has shown outstanding innovation in the hospitality industry. The Innovator of the Year award, also sponsored by The Restaurant Association of New Zealand is voted on by industry members.

About The Restaurant Association of New Zealand

The Restaurant Association of New Zealand has thousands of members covering the length and breadth of the country, representing every facet of the restaurant and hospitality industry. The industry employs more than 108,000 people at 15,174 restaurants and food outlets and generates sales in excess of $8 billion. Restaurant Association offers its members business tools, support and advice for growing their businesses and breaking new ground in the fast growing hospitality arena.

About The Hospitality Summit & Feast by Famous Chefs

The first Hospitality Summit was held in 2014. The 2015 Hospitality Summit is The Restaurant Associations of New Zealand’s annual national conference and it is open to members and non-members of the Association. The Summit features high profile presenters from New Zealand and international key note speakers. Feast by Famous Chefs dinner and awards has been running since 1992 and is a platform for achievement, a place where the association can recognise excellence and reward people who make it happen in this industry. Both events attract industry professionals from all areas, leading NZ chefs and restaurateurs, suppliers to the industry, valued foodservice clients and associated business partners.


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