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Visa Wellington On A Plate Crowns Next Gen Cook Off Winner And Announces A Winner’s Dinner

Chef Celia Drummond of Floriditas wins Visa Wellington On a Plate’s Next Gen Cook Off

The five night Next Gen Cook Off series raised the equivalent of more than two months of koha for the Everybody Eats charity

There will be a ‘Winner Dinner’ event on Sunday 21 May which begins at 6pm, first in, first served

Celia Drummond of Floriditas has been crowned this year’s winner of the Next Gen Cook Off series at Everybody Eats which is part of the Visa Wellington On a Plate food festival.

This year five up-and-coming Wellington chefs competed in the popular Festival series which saw them create a three course meal from a daily ‘mystery box’ of ingredients donated to Everybody Eats, including Pure South meat and rescued food from Kaibosh.

Alongside Celia, chefs Jacob Spackman from Kisa, Brett Barnes from Shepherd, Lizzie Rogers from Koji, and Courtenay Charles from 50-50 were selected to participate in the Next Gen Cook Off for 2023.

Winning Chef Celia Drummond has confirmed that she will return to Everybody Eats for a celebratory ‘Winner Dinner’ on Sunday 21 May. Doors will open from 6pm, and is first in, first served.

Visa Wellington On a Plate Festival Director, Sarah Meikle, says this year’s Next Gen Cook Off has seen a young and enthusiastic group of chefs compete, highlighting the exceptional skill and talent coming up in the Wellington hospitality scene.

“It’s always exciting to see Wellington’s emerging hospitality stars, but what makes the Next Gen Cook Off so special is that it supports Everybody Eats, which means anyone could have the pleasure of enjoying food from some of the best new talent in Wellington. And that’s important to us. ”

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Everybody Eats is a pay-as-you-feel dining concept that offers chef-prepared three course meals. The Wellington restaurant began in 2020, and operates four nights a week from Sunday to Wednesday.

The Next Gen Cook Off series launched during Visa Wellington On a Plate last year, raising more than $18,000 for Everybody Eats .

Everybody Eats Wellington Restaurant Manager, Jack Rainey, says it is amazing to be part of Visa Wellington On a Plate, allowing the competition to reach more of the community, and continue to showcase what is possible with rescued and surplus food.

“The benefits to Everybody Eats are enormous. We see a generous surge in koha, big uptake of volunteers and our kaupapa reach more people, resulting in more guests coming to dine throughout the year,” he adds.

Head Chef of Everybody Eats and Judge, Ellis (El) Robbins, says it was an incredibly close competition.

“Courtenay Charles from 50-50 deserves a special mention, being the youngest competitor at 18 years old she rocked up and delivered a truly outstanding meal, she is definitely one to watch,” she says.

This year more than 860 guests dined during Next Gen Cook Off events, and over five nights has helped raise a significant amount for the charity, equivalent in value to two months of their typical koha.

Chef Celia Drummond says, “Everybody Eats is really awesome and it’s really cool to be part of the event. Loved the energy of all the people, chefs, volunteers and guests involved.”

Full details of the dinner are here, or visit for more information.

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