Ambassador Chefs

Meet our 2017 Ambassador Chefs.

Alistair Forster, Mahana Estates, Nelson

Alistair Forster, Mahana Estates, Nelson

Born in Gloucester, England, Alistair was trained in highly disciplined AA rosetted and Michelin-starred kitchens where he gained great experience and recognition within the industry. This training laid a foundation by which he has developed his craft over the years. With calm perseverance, he continually elevated his skills and those of the staff around him to the highest standards.

Moving to New Zealand, in 2009, Alistair worked at luxury lodges along with consulting to lodges throughout New Zealand.  He has also worked with partners such as Tasman Helicopters with their premium experience offering of the Heli Gourmet product and was previously executive chef at the Rutherford Heritage Hotel in Nelson. While in England, Alistair worked in exclusive luxury hotels and notable country estates in the Cotswolds.  One of those properties was Lords of the Manor, a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property and sister property to Mahana Villa. The experiences in these kitchens lead him on a journey to Mahana Estates, an organic vineyard and winery located in the Nelson region, where he prides himself with maintaining the same standards in his kitchen today, as those where he was trained.

 Alistair sources the finest and freshest of the produce available regionally and across New Zealand. He prepares dishes in a way that showcase those ingredients and natural flavours. His approach to food is simple: source fresh, local and seasonal produce, treat them with respect, and then apply skill and creativity to deliver unique culinary experiences for guests at Mahana Estates.

Steve Beere, Mint Restaurant, Napier

Steve Beere, Mint Restaurant, Napier

Steve Beere started his career in the food industry almost by accident, working part-time as a kitchen hand while completing a PADI diving instructors course. Subsequently training as a chef at the Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawkes Bay, he worked at various Hawkes Bay restaurants, including Taradale’s popular Marie La Rose, the County Hotel and the iconic Bayswater.

A brief stint at Wellington’s Park Royal saw him back in the Bay, joining Mission Estate Winery Restaurant as head chef, assisting in the design and development of the new kitchen during the Mission’s renovations, and continuing as executive chef for several years.  Steve has also cooked as a guest chef in Vanuatu, and the prestigious Hong Kong Football Club, and recently worked in the local wine industry prior to opening Mint Restaurant with his wife Ruth in April 2011.

 Growing up Steve was inspired by his mother’s cooking and was fascinated by baking and preserving which was a way of life during his childhood.  Steve is indebted to two mentors who changed his view of food; chef-owner of the iconic Bayswater Bistro, Vicki Bruhns-Bolderson, who instilled in him the idea that food is not merely fuel but art; and Robert Dennis who was Steve’s tutor at Hawkes Bay Polytech for giving him the foundation, structure and exceptional technique and discipline to find his feet in the kitchen. 

Every time Steve develops a dish he is always mindful of classical flavours, textures and presentation and as a result something new always evolves from that foundation or technique, reframed for the present-day palate.  Steve has been fortunate enough to work in a range of culinary environments before owning and operating his own restaurant, Mint and says the ultimate reward is the unlimited freedom and creativity to cook what he wants for his guests using as much locally sourced produce as possible. 

Scott Kennedy, Nero Restaurant

Scott Kennedy, Nero Restaurant

Scott is another familiar face in the Beef and Lamb New Zealand Excellence Awards and this will be Scott’s fourth appointment as an Ambassador Chef.  Scott was trained in Palmerston North at Periwinkles restaurant by Michael Whittington a former apprentice to Tony Astle.

 He opened his first restaurant in Palmerston North, Vavasseur, at a very young age of 21 with his wife Yvette which they ran together for 10 years before opening their second restaurant, Nero. Scott and Yvette and their family live on-site above the restaurant which is in a 1920 two-storey Victorian home.  Formally a doctor’s residence, they transformed this into their home and restaurant in 2000. Nero has beautiful gardens, outside dining options and a pool and BBQ area for summer.   Scott’s many accolades include winner of the Manawatu Beef Dish of the Year from 2013 to 2016 and most recently being named Manawatu Restaurant of the Year in November 2016 by Hospitality New Zealand.

Scott typically uses two cuts of meat for each dish - a first class cut and secondary cut. He loves utilising secondary cuts to showcase their versatility and beautiful flavour. He often takes inspiration from classic and traditional dishes by breaking the components down and adding his own twist. In recent years Scott and Yvette have travelled to Europe where he has drawn inspiration to bring home and design new dishes. Scott sources local and seasonal produce and uses it as much as possible and is always in search for new produce with a point of difference. 

Shaun Clouston, Logan Brown

Shaun Clouston, Logan Brown

Shaun Clouston of Logan Brown is no stranger to the Beef and Lamb Ambassador Chef family.  This will be his fourth time as a Beef and Lamb Ambassador Chef proving his consistent excellence in the kitchen using New Zealand beef and lamb.

Head Chef of Wellington’s Logan Brown Restaurant & Bar since 2006, Shaun studied and worked in New Zealand for several years, including four years at Logan Brown in the late nineties, before moving to Sydney.  During the following five years, he cooked at Sydney based restaurants, La Grillade, Infusion@333 and Wildfire. 

In 2006, Shaun returned to Logan Brown in Wellington as head chef and in 2008 became a business partner in the restaurant. Under his guidance, Logan Brown has been awarded the coveted Cuisine Magazine Supreme Winner, New Zealand Restaurant of the Year (2009) and has gone on to be awarded Two Hats in the “Cuisine Magazine Good Food Guide” 2013, 2014, 2015.  In 2014 he and his business partners opened their hugely popular second restaurant, Grill Meats Beer.

 Shaun’s philosophy on food and cooking is to serve classical but skilfully cooked dishes, using good techniques, to create a consistent result every time; and using the best local, seasonal ingredients you can get your hands on. Paramount to all of this is the use of ethical and environmentally friendly producers and suppliers.