2019 Participants, Little Savanna & Chillingworth Road

Canterbury & West Coast


Plate of Origin Dish: Kowhai Ostrich back fillet with Barry’s Bay blue cheese gnocchi, fermented cabbage, plum gel and a watercress, and candied walnut salad.

Hero Products: (1) Ostrich fillet from Kowhai Grove Ostrich, Feilding and (2) Peninsula Blue from Barry’s Bay, Akaroa.


Our journey is one of two cultures, whose passion for food is shared. Little Savanna is the bringing together of our cultures, where mouth-watering seasonal food has been engineered. We have a zest for fresh seafood and unashamedly love meat, particularly those cuts that are flame grilled, which sets us apart in the Manawatu. The finest and freshest of New Zealand’s ingredients are sourced and prepared for you here at Little Savanna.

CHEF | Chloe Woodham

Growing up Chloe always had a knack when it came to cooking.  Straight out of high school she completed professional cookery at Wintec in Hamilton while working at a local café.  Since then she has worked at catering company’s, busy cafes and a mix of both. Recently she wanted to challenge herself and gain new skills so when she heard of an exciting new restaurant opening up she jumped at the opportunity. This has opened a whole new chapter of her culinary career going from Chef de Partie to Head Chef in less than a year while learning an abundance of skills and getting to pass on her expertise to others.  Chloe loves the thrill of these new challenges and is lucky enough to have found her true passion at such a young age.


Chillingworth Road is both a journey and a destination. Centered around award-winning Chef Darren Wright’s kitchen, expect a menu that will take you from breakfast to formal evening dining; a bar perfect for that after work drink; and a kitchen store and school, where our food philosophy and secrets will be shared and you’ll be able to take home your own piece of Chillingworth Road!

CHEF | Darren Wright 

Darren began his cooking career as a kitchen hand in Akaroa (as he didn’t want to go commercial fishing with his father!) progressing to junior chef and then moved away to Christchurch, where he attended Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. After 2 ½ years working at the Crowne Plaza (formerly the Park Royal), Darren won the 1999 SPHC Junior Chef of the Nation.  This win gave him a 6 week cooking experience in Penang, Malaysia, which served as a fabulous experience in Darren’s cooking career. Darren is a highly accomplished chef who at Chillingworth Road, sources as much local produce as possible, he firmly believes it is very important to use NZ products as “they are among the best in the world”.

In Canterbury, there exists a place where the climate is perfect for food to grow and plants to flourish. Better yet, the range of produce from the area is rich and varied – seafood, game, truffles, fruit – and it’s all in one region. Eating a meal or drinking a glass of wine is like tasting the area itself.  The creation of dishes with ingredients sourced from one region tells a story that ties the place together. There is a knowledge and familiarity that those in the region have with their surroundings. They know the best times to pick, to plant and to hunt. They know where the food has come from, how it has been produced, and through this, present an opportunity to have a connection to what you eat.


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