2017 Participant: Bistronomy & The Fat Farmer

Hawke’s Bay

Plate of Origin Dish and Hero Ingredients Woodburn Venison loin, Aquiferra Olive oil & Black Doris Plums by Mckelvie


At Bistronomy, they’re firm believers in making everyday eating a little bit extraordinary. One part local, one part global, and one part special sauce, Bistronomy infuse fresh Hawke’s Bay produce with far-flung ideas to create dishes that will often surprise, and always delight.

The menu changes with the seasons, inspired by the abundance and variety of edible offerings from soil & sea. Bistronomy are less about fine dining and more about fun dining, and like to make food you can share, food you can talk about, food you’ll want more of, and food you’ll come back for.

CHEF | James Beck

jimi-b-copyJames Beck spent eight years cooking in top restaurants in Europe including the Savoy Hotel, Quiqui da Costa, Pastorale and Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck. During this time he developed a deep understanding and respect for the integrity of every ingredient. He learnt to work in harmony with nature to ensure the best quality produce and to apply a rigorous technique to its preparation, in order to preserve the essence of each flavour. Whilst honing his own personal philosophy of food and gaining impressive technical skill, he was exposed to some of the most innovative and original ideas in modern cookery. Returning to New Zealand and setting up his own kitchen has allowed James to fully express his unique creativity and passion for food. His style is an effortless blend of disciplined,classical technique, together with an earthy and wholesome sensitivity to the produce, seasons and bounty of his home – here beautiful Hawke’s Bay.


Palmerston North’s latest re-fit, formally The Village Inn Kitchen was renovated by local design company Palette Design in January 2016 and reopened in February 2016 as The Fat Farmer. The Fat Farmer introduces a taste of rural Manawatu into the heart of Hokowhitu. Where possible all the produce is sourced fresh from local growers. Small plates are a feature on The Fat Farmer menu. However a full menu is available for those wanting a special dining experience in a more relaxed environment right in the heart of Palmerston North’s most popular residential area.

CHEF | Janet Gray

janet-grayGrowing up in the Manawatu, Janet Gray worked part time as a kitchen hand while studying at Wanganui polytechnic at Christopher’s Restaurant where she worked for two years as a commis chef after completing the course. Janet then moved to the bright lights of Wellington and worked at Dockside Restaurant, Boulcott St Bistro, Copita Eatery & Wine bar and the Tasting Room during her time here. Janet has since moved back to Manawatu and has been running the kitchen of Aberdeen and now the Fat Farmer, where she likes to create food that’s a bit different, with a nod to classics, and enjoyed in a casual relaxed atmosphere.

Hawke’s Bay is a region of diverse and magnificent landscapes, from mountains and hill country to inland and coastal plains, occupying around 14,000 square kilometres on the eastern side of New Zealand’s North Island. As New Zealand’s oldest and second largest wine growing region, Hawke’s Bay is known for its full-bodied reds, with more than 80% of the country’s plantings of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah grapes. Hawke’s Bay’s terrain also happens to be ideal for producing world-class Chardonnays.

Proudly Partnered With