Discover some top Kiwi chefs who have helped New Zealand earn the reputation of an international food destination for discerning foodies.
Find out more about these top chefs and where to try their creations.
Kiwi celebrity chef Peter Gordon has spent over 20 years ensuring New Zealand cuisine is on the world stage. Now based in Auckland, Peter and his partner Alastair have established what is known to be a New Zealand food embassy. The pair started Homeland(opens in new window) to support New Zealand producers, teach people cooking skills, support local food producers, share recipes from their homelands, and tell food stories to the world.
Arguably, New Zealand’s best-known chef, Peter Gordon, became known as ‘the father of fusion cuisine’ after pioneering the blend of Eastern and Western cuisine styles in the eighties. Gordon, who is of Māori descent and hails from Whanganui on the North Island’s west coast, lived in London for 20 years before moving home to New Zealand in 2020. While in London, he worked with a string of critically acclaimed restaurants around the globe, including the famed The Providores and Tapa Room.
Monique Fiso, of Māori and Samoan descent, is considered one of New Zealand’s most renowned chefs. Fiso's career in food started as a sandwich hand at the age of 14. Since then, she has years of experience in New York, where she trained at top Michelin star kitchens before returning to New Zealand in 2016.
Fiso has taken Māori cuisine to another level by combining Māori cooking techniques and ingredients with her Michelin training. Reservations at Hiakai are in hot demand, make sure you book your table well in advance.
New Zealand chef Josh Emett has 30 years of experience and impeccable credentials, working in London, New York, Los Angeles and Melbourne with Gordon Ramsey. Emett's rise to chef stardom has taken him on a global journey to some of the most famous and highly acclaimed eating establishments, where he’s worked with top international chefs, judged MasterChef New Zealand and wowed the rich and famous with his culinary talents.
In February 2020 The Emetts took the reins of The Oyster Inn, the Waiheke institution that’s their first solely-owned restaurant in New Zealand. In October 2020, Josh and Helen opened Onslow, on the ground floor of the International residential building. Situated in the heart of central Auckland, Onslow(opens in new window) is a must-do dining experience that showcases Emett's culinary journey from New York to London and back to Aotearoa.
Masterchef New Zealand's 2014 winners, Karena and Kasey Bird are two sisters from the small Bay of Plenty town of Maketu.
Born and raised in a tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone, there was never any shortage of sharing fresh fruit, vegetables, and seafood and with food being at the centre of the most important events in their lives, Karena and Kasey's passion for food was imbedded in them from a young age and has helped establish their careers today.
One of New Zealand’s most celebrated chefs with many cookbooks and awards to her name, Langbein promotes a healthy, less complicated way of living, sustained by home-grown, fresh food that is easily prepared and lovingly shared - an example of how life ought to be.
Few cooks can perfect the garden to table cycle as effectively as Annabel Langbein – the New Zealand television chef whose fresh, simple approach to food and life has created an international following.
Alister Brown (better known as Al Brown), is a chef, TV presenter, writer and restaurant-owner and he is one of the best known faces of New Zealand cuisine.
Since co-founding an iconic Wellington restaurant in 1996, Al Brown's career has diversified into writing cookbooks, television cooking shows, producing food products and, most recently, the establishment of new eateries and food outlets in Auckland.
Away from the television cameras, Masterchef judge Simon Gault is an entrepreneurial chef whose name is associated with a string of top New Zealand restaurants.
As executive chef at Euro(opens in new window) - one of the culinary stars on Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour waterfront strip - Gault saw his establishment included in prestigious US Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s list of top 50 restaurants in the world.