Press Releases

Jason Dell Wins a National New Zealand Tourism Award

Sep 4, 2007

Since August 2002 Jason Dell, 35, has been the executive chef at Blanket Bay, an exclusive alpine luxury lodge between Queenstown and Glenorchy, Central Otago.The lodge caters to both international and domestic travellers, with Oscar nominee Ian McKellen describing it as one of the best property's in the word.

PATA NZ Trust Chairperson Neil Plimmer said Jason is an excellent candidate for winning the award. “The Awards are about recognising inspirational young professionals who are contributing to the future success of the New Zealand tourism industry. Jason is exemplary of this - he has taken the culinary experience at Blanket Bay to the highest standards, helping this resort stand-out on the world tourism stage,” Mr Plimmer said.

General manager of Blanket Bay, Philip Jenkins, said Jason is an exceptional chef and manager who has already made an invaluable contribution to expanding the Blanket Bay business. “During his time with us Jason has proved to be a talented, creative professional who leads his brigade from the front with considerable success.

In 2006 and 2007, the United Kingdom illustrious travel magazine Conde Naste Traveller named Blanket Bay in their Gold List as the best hotel in Australasia for the quality of their food, which is indicative of the success Jason has bought to the hotel,” Mr Jenkins said.

Mr Jenkins added that Jason had the foresight to create the Blanket Bay chef's scholarship which has bought excellent talent to the resort.
“The chef's scholarship has been well-received within the industry, enticing younger culinary professionals to join the Blanket Bay team. Both Jason and these young chefs have gone on to achieve excellent results at various New Zealand culinary competitions, stimulating those under his supervision to strive for excellence.  It seems only appropriate that Jason should go on to be recognised with a scholarship of his own,” Mr Jenkins said.

In his role, Jason oversees all food operations and development, including menu design, recipe development, purchasing, inventory control and personnel recruitment. Jason has extensive experience in the tourism industry, acting as executive chef at Hotel d'Urville in Blenheim before his role at Blanket Bay as well as owning and managing the One Skinny Chef restaurant in The Marlborough Hotel. He has also held various roles as a hospitality and cookery tutor.

As part of the Award, Jason was given a grant of $1,500 from the PATA NZ Trust to advance his professional development.
Jason joins previous award recipients Melissa Crockett, director of Potiki Adventures, Chris Lamers, who was general marketing manager of Positively Wellington Tourism until recently; Malcolm Johns, CEO of InterCity Group Limited; Paul Bingham, CEO of Black Cat Cruises; Richard Wilson previously of Tourism Holdings Group; and Simon Douglas, formerly Ministry of Tourism and now at Tourism New Zealand.