The NZChefs Association is a well-established and respected group both within New Zealand and on the world Culinary Stage. To get to where the National Culinary Group is today many chefs have devoted countless volunteer hours to the cause.

Sadly, the association must say farewell to one of those passionate chefs, Malcolm Church, a Life Member of NZChefs who died recently.

Church’s long career began with well-known and recognised Chef Sid Young, moving on to the Great Northern Hotel then the Royal International Hotel in Auckland. His next move was to Huntsbury House which later become Fisher Catering Services, where chef Church took a management and part ownership roll.

Fisher Catering Services was then sold to the international Eurest Catering where Malcolm took on a national management role.

Around 1976 Church joined the members of the Auckland Branch of NZChefs. With his natural passion for young people, he soon become a mentor to many young chefs who were apprenticed, or on the rungs of the ladder, working their way up.

Malcolm was appointed to the Branch Secretary and National Executive of the Auckland Branch in the early 80s during a period where a meeting may have attracted half a dozen members. About this time, it was agreed to send a National Culinary Team to compete in the Culinary Olympics during 1984.

Here was the opportunity for Church to shine, taking the mantel and making it happen. Getting behind things such as the huge fundraising and team training effort seemed no barrier. He also sent many teams of Auckland chefs to the annual Snow Festival in Sapporo Japan where snow carving and culinary competitions were abundant, and many medals were bought back to New Zealand.

Church could identify the passion and skill set of the young adults and assist them to remain focused on their individual development and culinary competitiveness. The man was generous with his time and enjoyed sharing it with others.

Chef Church was always up for a solid debate and certainly the board room and colleagues knew they had a challenge when he questioned anything.

Church always had time to listen and assist to sort out any issues. He was always up-front, honest, he showed integrity and was always generous with his time. A great man has gone and it will be an enormous loss to the Hospitality Industry.

RIP Chef Malcolm Church.