2019 Participants, Fat Farmer & Culprit

Auckland & Northland


Plate of Origin Dish: Angus Pure Beef with Curious Cropper green tomatoes, flat iron steak, braised beef cheek, tomato marmalade, coffee grind rub and salt, and smoked sour cream.

Hero Products:  (1) Angus Pure Beef sourced and produced from the following Angus Studs in the Manawatu region: Atahua Angus, Ngaputahi Angus, Pine Park Angus  and Merchiston Angus  with (2) Green tomatoes sourced and grown at Curious Croppers , Clevedon, Auckland


The Fat Farmer is a lively, locally owned restaurant and bar, tucked into the corner of Hokowhitu Village, Palmerston North. This opulent, vintage styled venue consists of an overt floor plan surrounded by intimate corner hideaways, infusing rustic charm and contemporary decor into the distinctly stylish, European ambiance. Characterised by their exceptional variety of traditional and modern sharing plates, the full service bar is complemented by an eclectic wine list and New Zealand made craft beer offerings, as well as invigorating cocktails.

CHEF | Janet Gray

janet-grayGrowing up in Manawatu, Janet Gray worked part time as a kitchen hand while studying at Christopher’s Restaurant while studying at Wanganui Polytechnic. After completing her course, she spent two years at Christopher’s as a commis chef. 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. 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.


Culprit, located in the heart of Auckland CBD is proudly owned and operated by chefs Jordan MacDonald and Kyle Street, formerly of two of Auckland’s most renowned eateries. Culprit is a haven for secondary cuts and the unloved. Inspired by their local bounty and travels through the States and Europe, their food philosophy is to work in collaboration with local NZ producers, suppliers and farmers. For Culprit their menu is about showcasing what they do, keeping it simple, fun, fresh and delicious.

CHEF | Kyle Street

Originally hailing from Wellington, Kyle has worked in some of New Zealand’s most influential restaurants. Prior to opening his own place, Kyle was well known for his role as executive chef of Depot & Federal Delicatessen for Al Brown, where together they spear headed a new wave of New Zealand dining. This ethos continues at his more refined outpost Culprit, where-in they serve starters ‘Yum Cha’ style to take that kiwi generosity to another level. More recently Kyle and Jordan have opened Lowbrow, an all day eatery where their more low key dish ideas can find a home, think crisp fried organic chicken, pork chops and White Bread Clam Tacos; a new invention inspired by the South’s cheese roll.

Auckland’s vibrant food and wine scene serves up something for every taste – from modern Pacific-Rim dishes to cuisine from every corner of the globe. Dine overlooking the water at Viaduct Harbour or Wynyard Quarter, or take your pick from the eclectic restaurants in the stylish Britomart and Federal Street precincts. Hip Ponsonby is home to modern cafes and eateries, or grab a casual bite or craft beer at City Works Depot. The inner city suburbs of Mount Eden and Kingsland are full of lively restaurants and buzzing bars, or pop over to Takapuna on the North Shore to dine at one of the restaurants facing the beach.

Stunning Northland, the top of the North Island, is blessed with its own subtropical climate. Undeniably beautiful, wonderfully laid-back it is home to a treasure trove of food and wine delights. Northland is renowned for its spectacular coastlines, marine reserves and kauri forests. The natural landscape is Northland’s speciality. In addition to scenic offerings, Northland is home to world-class luxury resorts, golf courses, and has an abundance of walking tracks and a new cycle trail. Māori culture is strong in Northland. The region has a rich history that ties both Maori and non-Maori (Pakeha) together. The Bay of Islands is the place where the historic signing of the Treaty of Waitangi took place in 1840.

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