Press Releases

Joseph Clarke named Chef of the Year 2010

Aug 26, 2010

Twenty-two year old Joseph picked up the honorary award at the country’s premier hospitality competition, held every year at the ASB Showground in Auckland. The already multi-award winning chef was selected for the title for his exceptional culinary skills shown in producing a series of dishes over the three-day competition.

Joseph beat off 12 of New Zealand’s talented chefs from around the country to win the NZ Chef of the year title.

To win the award, Joseph scooped medals in all four of his required dishes; winning silver 2nd place for Hot Entrée and Main course cold display, silver 2nd place for Live Main Course and Dessert. Sliver 1st place for Salmon Main Course and taking gold 1st place mystery box competition.

The panel of judges included Head Judge Martin Harrap, Chief Judge Phil Neverman, SkyCity Auckland Executive chef Mark Wylie, Molten and Liquid Molten owner Michael Van de Elzen, and New Zealand Chefs' Association president Anita Sarginson.

Joseph also picked up another special award the “Hot Kitchen Excellence Award” For the highest score in three open hot kitchen events. It was a definite shock to receive the award

Speaking after the event Joseph said “It was a emotional moment to accept the trophy as my two previous Executive chefs Jason Dell and Mark Sycamore have held the title and to see my name alongside theirs was a moment that I’ll definitely treasure. I’d like to thank Steve Best – Executive chef of Blanket Bay, for the support he has given me in preparing and during the event.”

There was fine group of talented New Zealand chefs in the competition. I’m extremely proud to carry on the Blanket Bay tradition of winning the country’s top awards. The kitchen team at Blanket Bay are all incredibly supportive because they understand the pressure and work it takes to get this far.”

Joseph began his road to international culinary success just four years ago. Employed at Blanket Bay as a junior chef at the luxurious Glenorchy property since late 2006, Joseph received his first major award in 2006 supreme winner of the prestigious Toque d’Or competition and less than one year after joining Blanket Bay in 2007 he was named New Zealand Commis Chef of the year at the New Zealand Culinary Fare. Since then, he has picked up several accolades including the right to represent New Zealand at the latest global competition held as part of the biannual World Chefs Congress. Earlier this year Joseph brought home bronze at The Hans Bueschkens World Junior Chef’s Challenge in Chile. In July Joseph took out three gold medals at the recent 2010 Southern Lights Salon Culinaire competition and was named Southern Lights Chef of the Region for the second year in a row.

Philip Jenkins, General Manager of Blanket Bay, said the award is a marvellous result for Joseph, who he describes as an extremely talented, passionate and professional chef. “We are delighted for him and offer our heartiest congratulations,” he said. “At Blanket Bay we have a commitment to nurturing the creativity and skills of young chefs and this has been rewarded with a string of awards for those chefs over the years.

“These results are testimony to the exceptional quality of the Blanket Bay culinary team and the ongoing commitment to excellence and career development by the resort’s owners and management. “