“My heart is in France, my palate in Asia and my reveries in Italy but my culinary cultivation in New Zealand and the South Pacific. My forte is wine and food matching"
As a child I was happily raised in paradisiacal Lautoka, Fiji, and Honiara in the remote Solomon Islands, where I spent plenty of time at sea exploring the six major and many of the 900 smaller islands, Dad being a land surveyor. When I was in my teens, our family moved to Twizel in the majestically beautiful, remote and rugged, New Zealand high country where I first mastered snow skiing, golf and horse riding.
I first studied hotel management when working at the spectacularly scenic Lake Ohau Lodge. My yearning for travel at 22 saw me take the first of many long journeys, spending three months driving alone coast to coast through 20 different states in North America. I then moved into Retail Management, Insurance and Finance which led to seven years working in Merchant Banking. During this time I started travelling thru New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia.
Very much the entrepreneur, I also owned an English-style equestrian centre and horse riding school, an outdoor sport, ski, surf and dive shop and an event management company specialising in sporting and gastronomic events. This culinary passion led me to open my first restaurant and nightclub in Sydney, Australia where I lived for four years. On moving back to New Zealand, I owned or co-owned another ten restaurants. This out of the blue evolved me into becoming a chef in the world of high-class luxury yachting, and chef positions in exclusive private residences, high-end chalets and villas. I have worked on seven revered luxury motor and sail yachts, including being Head Chef on the legendary 75m sailing yacht, Phocea. I have spent ski seasons cooking in Chamonix France, St Moritz Switzerland and Aspen Colorado.
My extensive media talents include hosting my own Food and Wine television show for two years. I had my own radio show for 15 years, working as a film critic, regularly visiting the Cannes Film Festival, amongst others. I spent seven years as a wine writer for various magazines and newspapers as well as a freelance lifestyle writer. I am a well-established master of ceremonies and a highly entertaining public speaker.
I have written two full-length screenplays (New Zealand Love Story and Recipe for Death) and self -published three books, one on movies (Watch This Movie), The Cannes Film Festival (Cannes Confidential); and a ski season in Chamonix in The French Alps (It’s All Part of the Alpine Experience) As a passionate traveller, I have visited over 70 countries and am a self-confessed history geek. My current books Chef for Sail and Chef Two Sail, I sail over 80,000 nautical miles travelling to over 50 countries writing behind the scenes while cooking for the mega rich and famous.
My cooking is flavour and personality driven reflecting my extensive travels and is very much governed by the seasons and where in the world I might be at the time. That is the true beauty of cuisine. “My heart is in France, my palate in Asia and my reveries in Italy but my culinary cultivation in New Zealand and the South Pacific. My forte is wine and food matching.