Auckland chef claims World Tapas Championship

Just three years into her career, Shuyun (Dani) Chen, from Bellota by Peter Gordon at SKYCITY Auckland, has won the 2018 World Tapas Championship in Spain. Her winning tapa featured escabeche vegetables rolled in raw yellowfin tuna with seaweed dressing, horseradish cream, crispy chilli served on a Calasparra rice cracker blackened with squid ink.

“This dish was inspired by the coastal regions of Spain,” said Chen. “Yellowfin tuna is one of the most favoured fish in Spanish cuisine, that’s the reason I have kept it raw, so we can taste the freshness. Competing and winning this international title has been the most amazing experience and I’m so proud to have had the opportunity to represent New Zealand. The competition was tough, but I really felt the support from all my colleagues back home, as well as Peter and the Bellota team.”

Peter Gordon is proud of the rising star at his Auckland restaurant and says it’s a testament to the hard work and passion that she has brought to her cooking.

“I’m hugely proud of Dani,” he said. This wonderful achievement is a real showcase of her determination to be the best tapas chef in New Zealand, and now the world! The event is a demanding competition and the whole team at Bellota have done an amazing job of supporting her through this journey, including our Head Chef Sameer who has helped coach her through the process. Big congratulations to Chef Dani and our Bellota team!”