Last night, two of New Zealand’s top chefs were awarded with a prestigious lifetime ambassadorship, after producing arguably some of the best beef and lamb cuisine in the country over the last decade.

Both Shaun Clouston, Executive Chef/Owner of Wellington’s Logan Brown and Grill Meats Beer, and Scott Kennedy, Head Chef/Owner of Nero Restaurant in Palmerston North have been named Beef and Lamb Platinum Ambassador Chefs after consistently excelling in the Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards.

The platinum status acknowledges their service and commitment over the years and places them alongside six other Platinum Ambassador Chefs, all tasked with driving innovation and creativity using New Zealand beef and lamb within the food service sector.

Clouston’s long and varied career began in New Zealand before spending six years in Sydney, Australia where he established himself and the style of cooking he is now known for.

Clouston credits his time overseas for his appreciation and passion in using the very best, locally sourced products that Logan Brown prides itself on.

“As chefs, there is nothing better than working with top quality, local product and we are lucky enough to have so much of it readily available – it’s something our customers appreciate and keep coming back for.”

“I’m honoured to be named a Platinum Ambassador Chef, it is a huge accolade and I look forward to continuing to do my part to boost the profile of the amazing beef and lamb we have here in New Zealand, not only through the dishes we create but through championing the producers,” said Clouston.

Kennedy has been involved with the Awards for over 10 years, originally with his first restaurant Café Vavasseur in Palmerston North, which he opened at the young age of 21 before opening his current restaurant, Nero.

Kennedy’s philosophy is to utilise as much of the animal as possible, this involves using not only the popular primary cuts but secondary cuts too. Being bold and innovative with beef and lamb is what locals have come to expect.

“I am very proud that Nero is recognised here in the Manawatu against some of the bigger city establishments. I like to experiment with flavours and I’m just lucky that my customers appreciate this and allow me to do so.”

“Being named a Platinum Ambassador Chef is hugely humbling, to be aligned with some of the big named chefs in the country is certainly one of the biggest milestones in my career to date,” said Kennedy.

Both Clouston and Kennedy were acknowledged and awarded as Platinum Ambassadors last night at a sold out dinner at Nero where guests were treated to a five-course degustation. Clouston and Kennedy join the ranks of six other Platinum Ambassadors:

  • Stephen Barry, Mount Bistro, Mt. Maunganui
  • Michael Coughlin, Dunedin
  • Brenton Low, Whangarei
  • Mat McLean, Palate Restaurant, Hamilton
  • Rex Morgan, Boulcott Street Bistro, Wellington

Darren Wright, Chillingworth Road, Christchurch