2019 Participants, 2019 Participants - Nosh Restaurant & Palate



Plate of Origin Dish: Eketahuna aged beef eye fillet with sweet pepper and beef cheek cannelloni, Waikato mushrooms kawakawa, confit potato tian, fermented cabbage and chorizo puree.

Hero Products: (1) Eketahuna raised beef using aged eye fillet and  beef cheek and a (2) selection of mushrooms grown in Waikato.


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 talented head chef Mark Harman and his 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.


Founded in 2005 by Mat McLean and Naomi Lee, Palate is now set beside the Waikato River in a purpose-built venue. Its ethos is to provide consistently excellent food paired with stunning New Zealand wine. Mat and the team strive to keep the restaurant’s carbon footprint down with thought and action going into sustainable fishing in particular, and awareness of what they need to do to keep our planet green and clean. Mat says snob value has no place at Palate. “We want people to dine with us, to be relaxed, wipe their finger on the plate to get the last bit of sauce, laugh out loud, and enjoy what we work to create.”

CHEF | Mat McLean

After gaining professional qualifications from Waikato Polytechnic, Mat received a scholarship to work in England. He gained invaluable experience at Leith’s – known for its quintessentially British style of cooking, and five-star The Capital Hotel in London. Following a stint in Melbourne as Head Chef at the Middle Brighton Baths, he returned to New Zealand to establish Palate in 2005. Mat grew up in Hamilton and credits his mum for pushing him towards cheffing. While his grandmother awakened his taste buds, he admits he couldn’t boil water before he went to polytech. Nowadays, Mat is a chef with highly developed technical skills, who’s committed to cooking with seasonal, local produce. He is not afraid to experiment with flavours and textures. Palate received a hat in both the Cuisine Good Food Awards 2015 and 2016 and was a two hat winner in 2017. It has twice been named Best Regional Restaurant in the Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year awards.

Fertile soils and a long-standing farming heritage mean the Hamilton & Waikato region is renowned for its agricultural industry, so it should come as no surprise that it’s also home to a range of gourmet experiences. From Hamilton’s award-winning fine dining restaurants to the growing number of food-focused markets and events, combined with an array of top-quality artisan producers including cheese, ice cream, tea, craft beer and fresh produce, the region is a foodie’s heaven.



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