In March Clement Mathon, pastry chef, True South Dining Room, The Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments, Queenstown was selected as one of five young promising chefs to attend the Ōra King Next Generation mentoring programme.
Established this year, the aim of the programme, was to help young chefs develop the necessary know-how to excel in the industry.
The Ōra King Next Generation mentoring programme was split into two stages.
● One week at the allocated mentor’s restaurant
● A one day workshop in Christchurch consisting of short modules, with topics covered by mentors and industry experts such as leadership, life balance, provenance, social media, trends and dish inspiration.
Clement was matched with Christchurch-based Andrew Brown, owner/operator of Burgers & Beers Inc and the Dragons Den Social Lounge.
He did not merely spend his week doing mis en place in the corner of the kitchen. Andrew and Ōra King organised a work plan which included cooking and serving at The Christchurch Food Show in the Dragon’s Den pop up, visiting Ralph at the Copperfolly wasabi farm, learning about beer and food matching at Three Boys Brewery and a road trip to the Ōra King hatchery in Tentburn to see the smolt and learn more about the hatchery process.
While in Christchurch Clem was challenged to create two Ōra King dishes – the second, a dish inspired by his pastry background was a white chocolate mousse with salmon bacon and beetroot sponge – the dish was so highly rated it is currently on the menu at The Rees.
About Clement Mathon
French-born Clement Mathon (30) is a pastry chef at The Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments in Queenstown.
Clement attended catering school in France from 2003 to 2007 also spending training time in various restaurant kitchens including at the 1 Michelin Star ‘Le Neuvieme Art. For four years from September 2007, he worked at Novotel Grenoble as chef de rang.
He came to New Zealand in 2011 to experience a different culture and improve his English skills becoming concierge at Novotel Queenstown Lakeside before taking up his current role at The Rees in December 2013.
About Andrew Brown, The Dragons Den Social Lounge, Christchurch
Andrew is owner/operator of Burgers & Beers Inc and the Dragons Den Social Lounge. With more than 20 years in the industry, Andrew has forged his career through many elements of hospitality. For many years he held executive chef roles in formal dining restaurants, banquet catering and cafés and five-star hotels, including the acclaimed Pescatore Restaurant at The George Luxury Hotel in Christchurch. Andrew and has a wide range of cuisines in his repertoire has a true passion for food and is dedicated to passing on his knowledge to the next generation which has delivered results in his training of two NZ Apprentices of the Year.
About Ora King
Ōra King is a best-of-breed king salmon developed specifically for the food service industry. Ōra King is the result of a commitment to quality founded on a classic breeding programme born in the top of New Zealand’s South Island two decades ago. All of the company’s husbandry and breeding, everything which Ōra King represents, is dedicated to the professional cook. It is the best of the best. Ōra King is to salmon as Wagyu is to beef.
See and hear more about Clem’s time with mentor Andrew Brown from Dragons Den here.