The Search is About to Begin

Beef + Lamb New Zealand will soon be extending an invitation to chefs to apply to be one of its next Ambassador Chefs. Plans are underway to open applications as soon as the lockdown levels allow and the hospitality industry is back on its feet, with the new culinary rock stars announced in early 2022.

For over two decades Beef + Lamb New Zealand has been shaping the careers of chefs around the country by selecting those who are creating and serving incredible beef and lamb dishes in their restaurants. These talented chefs become the voices of Beef + Lamb NZ and help carve the way for innovation in the foodservice sector using New Zealand beef and lamb.

The current Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chefs, Phil Clark of Phils Kitchen; Jack Crosti of Mela Restaurant; Norka Mella Munoz of Kinloch Lodge & Manor and Tejas Nikam of Paddock to Plate Waikato, have held their term for almost two years due to the disruption to the hospitality industry caused by COVID-19.

Beef + Lamb Foodservice Manager, Lisa Moloney noted that it has been a tough time for chefs and restauranteurs over the past 18 months and it has been a delight to have had four very talented chefs as Beef + Lamb ambassadors during this time.

“Our current Ambassador Chefs have stood strong through a very difficult period and we are very proud of them and the way they have continued to support Beef + Lamb New Zealand which in turn has enabled us to support the New Zealand chef community as a whole.”

Chef Norka Mella Munoz said it was amazing to receive the recognition of being named a Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chef, not just for herself but for her whole kitchen team.

“New Zealand has some of the finest produce in the world and it gave me a lot of pride for myself and my team to be recognised as creating and serving some of the top beef and lamb dishes in New Zealand.”

Norka added that a highlight of being an Ambassador Chef was being part of the inaugural, Young Ambassador Chef competition, held earlier this year.

“It took me back to my teaching days and I felt very proud of the young chefs who entered and the finalists who came to cook for us. I can see how the competition has elevated the young finalists’ careers and to have been part of this was a great moment of my Ambassadorship for Beef + Lamb New Zealand.”

With the uncertainty around lockdown levels and the ongoing disruption being caused by COVID-19 the new talent will be announced in 2022 and will also take up a two-year term as the Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chefs.

Also on the cards will be the opportunity for the new Ambassador Chefs to be part of another Young Chef competition during their rein as Ambassadors.

For more information and to register your interest visit