2018 Participants, Nosh Restaurant partnering with Bracken Restaurant



Plate of Origin Dish: Eketahuna Country aged beef smoked Manuka rubbed eye fillet, slow cooked short rib, bone marrow and burnt onion crumb golden beets and black garlic espuma.

Hero Products: Aged beef fillet from Eketahuna Country Meats  and Manuka smoked rub from Hammer Head Foods


Located within Distinction Palmerston North Hotel & Conference Centre, in the heart of Palmerston North’s CBD, Nosh Restaurant is a great place for a bite to eat and a drink with friends, family or business contacts. Nosh Restaurant’s award-winning head chef Mark Harman and his talented team serve a blend of local and international cuisine in an elegant modern setting, using the best local produce, accompanied by a great wine selection. The buffet breakfast offers a range of tasty options, and the delicious à la Carte dinner menu presents traditional dishes with a modern twist.

CHEF | Mark Harman

Mark Harman has returned to his hometown, Palmerston North, after four years in Auckland and has joined Distinction Hotel as the Executive Chef.

Mark brings with him a wealth of experience having spent more than 21 years in the hospitality industry. Mark has worked as a Head and Sous Chef in many high-end fine dining establishments such as Huka Lodge, Amanyara Luxury Resort and Dine by Peter Gordon & Bellota tapas bar. Mark has cooked for Hollywood celebrities and the Queen, and has won many awards in both culinary competitions and restaurant awards including New Zealand Beef & Lamb Hallmark of Excellence, Metro awards and three times first runner up regional Chef of the Year.

Mark is the entrepreneur chef creator of the supermarket brand SEASONS GOURMET where he has a range of soups, sauces, pestos and dips selling nationwide. His view on food is to keep things simple, using flavours that marry well together without over complicating things. He is classically trained and loves to create seasonal menus using the very best of local produce and showcasing what New Zealand has to offer.



Bracken is housed in a Victorian villa built in 1894. It offers set tasting menus of five, seven, nine or 12 courses of contemporary New Zealand cuisine. The restaurant is committed to buying and supporting the best local, free range and organic produce, engaging directly with small growers.

CHEF | Ken O’Connell

Ken is originally from Cork, Ireland, and moved to New Zealand in 2007 to become Executive Chef at Vidal Estate Winery Restaurant in Hastings.

He has been perfecting his approach to the craft for more than 30 years and is the 2008 and 2013 New Zealand Chef of the Year.

After working in Mt Cook and Te Anau, in 2014 Ken established Bracken in Dunedin. The following year it became the first Dunedin restaurant to win a hat in the Cuisine Good Food Awards. The judges commented on Ken’s respect for local, seasonal produce. Bracken received another hat in 2016 and was a two hat winner in the 2017 awards.

It offers set tasting menus of five, seven, nine or 12 courses using the best local ingredients. The course of the seasons dictates the menu.

There are many examples of Otago’s produce being successful on the national and international stage, for instance the offshore cold sea currents allow fishing fleet access to deep sea species such as Blue Cod, arguably the best eating fish, and squid. Little Neck Clams and Queens Scallops are harvested in the Otago Harbour and exported to internationally renowned restaurants in Boston, New York, Singapore and Malaysia. You can also just dig them out yourself! Otago also has access to the finest merino meat and milk products, used by local cheese producers, such as the award winning Whitestone Cheese Co. in Oamaru.  This historic town, with its atmospheric Victorian Precinct alive with cafes and restaurants, is on the doorstep of one of New Zealand’s newest wine regions, the Waitaki Valley.

With a heritage of Chinese settlement and market gardens the Otago Farmers Market, held weekly next to the Dunedin Railway Station, is well supplied with seasonal produce; specialties are root vegetables with the colder winter climate, yams, parsnips, pumpkin as well as leeks. Dunedin is one of the only cities in the world where you can fish for Salmon in the city. Locally smoked salmon and pates and other products are a favourite at the market and the local fare is  also readily available to try at one of the many restaurants in the central city Octagon or other city precincts.  Both Dunedin and Oamaru have a lively local craft beer industry, and their inhabitants are also spoilt for choice in locally roasted and blended coffees. The region’s produce is a perfect foil for the diverse and spectacular landscapes and unique wildlife species appreciated by locals and visitors alike.



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