Tuesday, 07 April 2020


Top chefs at this year’s Scallop Festival

Top chefs at this year’s Scallop Festival

Some of New Zealand’s best-known chefs will attend the tenth annual Whitianga Scallop Festival on 6 September this year. “The Scallop Festival committee has decided to invite only three chefs to appear on the live cooking stage of the 2014 Scallop Festival,” said Fiona Kettlewell, organiser of the event. “We’re glad that all three the chefs, Ray McVinnie, Josh Emett and Julie Biuso, have accepted the invitation.”

Ray McVinnie and Josh Emett are best known to the New Zealand public as two of the three judges on New Zealand Masterchef, but that is only part of their very impressive CV’s. Ray has a MA (Hons) degree in History and has been a professional chef and food writer for many years. He worked in the kitchens of some of Auckland’s best restaurants, including Metropole, where he was executive chef for six years. In 1992 he joined Cuisine magazine, judged best food magazine at the 2006 Gourmet Media World Festival in Cannes, where he is at the moment food editor. He was on the international jury for the Italy-based Slow Food Awards and has twice been on the panel of judges for the World Food Media Awards. Ray has won many awards throughout his career, including the New Zealand Guild of Food Writers Gastronomy Award in 2005 and the Singapore Tourism Best Singapore Travel Story Award, also in 2005. He has also had five cookery books published. He has been a New Zealand  Masterchef judge since the first series.

Josh grew up on a farm outside Hamilton. His passion for food was spurred by the fact that he was encouraged to cook something rather than to complain when he was, typical boy, always hungry. After school he decided to pursue his love for food instead of a desk job. He trained at
the Waikato Polytechnic and then spent 18 months in the early 1990’s working in the kitchen of Cin Cin on Quay, at that time the jewel in Auckland’s food scene crown. The next few years Josh spent in London, Melbourne and France before going back to London where he joined Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea. In 2001, Josh was selected as part of the team to launch Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s. That was followed with him being asked to become head chef of the re-opened Savoy Grill. In 2004 The Savoy Grill was awarded with its first ever Michelin star. In 2006 Josh crossed the Atlantic to initially oversee operations at Gordon Ramsay at The London NYC in New York City and later-on at Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood.

Gordon Ramsay at The London NYC was awarded two Michelin stars within ten months’ of Josh’s arrival. Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood was later awarded one Michelin star. In 2010 Josh opened Gordon Ramsay’s first two restaurants in Australia, in Melbourne, and appeared as guest chef on both Australia Masterchef and the first series of New Zealand Masterchef. That led to Josh being asked to join New Zealand Masterchef as judge permanently from series two. Josh moved back to New Zealand in 2012 and now owns or co-owns restaurants in Auckland
and Queenstown. He released his first cookbook, “Cut,” late last year, reflecting his zero-waste policy.

Food is Julie Biuso’s life. She began her career at the Cordon Bleu School of Cookery in London, became the principal of the Cordon Bleu Cookery School in New Zealand and went on to own her cooking school. Later-on she shifted gears to pursue a career in food journalism. Her career to date includes regular appearances on breakfast television, 15 food books, five Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, a Montana Book Award, a Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Award and a Gold Ladle in the World Food Media Awards. In 2011 she was made an Ambassador for Le Cordon Bleu (NZ). According to Fiona, the lineup of Scallop Festival chefs will, once again, be complimented by outstanding entertainment, great food, wine and beer stalls and the familiar vote-and-win and bestdressed competitions.

Tickets for the Festival will go on sale to the general public on 6 May through www.scallopfestival. co.nz and www.eventfinder.co.nz. Outlets where tickets can be bought in person will later be announced. Tickets cost $45 each.


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