Press Releases

Awards and Accolades are on the menu

Oct 9, 2008

Queenstown’s multi-award winning Blanket Bay, recently voted New Zealand's Leading Luxury Resort, has been recognised again for its excellence – this time in the kitchen.

The Blanket Bay culinary team has achieved outstanding results recently in various New Zealand competitions and scholarship programmes:

· At the South Island Salon Culinaire held in Christchurch from 30 June to 2 July, Chef Morgan Thacker won South Island Commis Chef of the Year. He achieved the highest aggregate score by winning the gold medal and first place in the ‘Live Main Course and Dessert class’ and the silver medal and second place in ‘3 Course Menu for 1 presented cold’. This was Morgan’s first time competing in Christchurch and the first time he had attempted either of the two elements that made up the competition.

· At the Southern Lights Salon Culinaire held in Dunedin from 5 to 6 July, Chef Joseph Clarke won the Southern Lights Commis Chef of the Year award for the second year in a row by a landslide. He was awarded three gold medals- gold medal and first place for the ‘Junior Hot Main Course Presented Cold’, gold medal and first place for the ‘junior Akaroa Salmon Live Main Course’, and gold medal and second place for ‘Chocolate Fantasy’. Joseph also won the gold medal and first place for the ‘Bluewater Products Seafood Mystery Box’.

· Also at the Southern Lights Salon Culinaire, Chef Mark Sycamore won the Southern Lights Open Chef of the Region for the third time in three attempts. He won a gold medal and first place for ‘Senior Hot Main Course Presented Cold’, a gold medal and first place for ‘Havoc Pork Main Course’ and a gold medal and second place for the ‘Bluewater Products Seafood Main Course’. He also won the silver medal and first place for the ‘Agora Lamb Main Course’.

· Chef Mark Sycamore also recently won a $12,000 Restaurant Association of New Zealand Continuing Education Grant which will be used to facilitate a trip to The American Culinary School in New York in September.

· Chef Ana Wares has won a $5,000 Hospitality Standards Institute Education Scholarship to be put towards a week long event management workshop presented by Relish Group’s David Williams.

Blanket Bay General Manager Philip Jenkins says the results are outstanding and he is very proud of his team.

“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.

“It’s a win-win for us. By encouraging our chefs to compete in these sorts of events, which in turn leads to them winning scholarships and furthering their careers, Blanket Bay gains exceptional food quality and high guest satisfaction. It also boosts team morale and builds a positive, supportive working environment. The end result is that we have excellent staff retention which is very important in the highly competitive area of cuisine personnel.”

Mr Jenkins also paid tribute to Blanket Bay’s multi-award winning Executive Chef Jason Dell for leading his team by example.

“Jason is an exemplary chef and manager and has inspired those under his tutelage to strive for excellence. His team’s outstanding skills have taken the culinary experience at Blanket Bay to the highest standards, helping us stand out in world tourism.”


About Blanket Bay

Established in 1999, Blanket Bay is an expansive lakeside property on a 65,000 high country farm, combining the sophistication of the world's finest alpine lodges and the unique characteristics of New Zealand. The intimate resort consists of 12 rooms including spacious suites, intimate lodge rooms and elegant chalets. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, accommodations offer travellers vast sitting rooms, king-sized beds, stone fireplaces, secluded balconies and spectacular views.

For more information about Blanket Bay contact:

General Manager: Philip Jenkins  | Phone: +64 3 441 0115+64 3 441 0115 | Email: |

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