Second-Time B+LNZ Ambassador Chef Talks Celeb Interactions, Global Competitions + More
Food & Fibre
Food & Fibre

Second-Time B+LNZ Ambassador Chef Talks Celeb Interactions, Global Competitions + More

Beef + Lamb NZ recently announced their ambassador chefs for the next few years. Four chefs were named including Cameron Davies, who is an Executive Chef and co-owner at the Fat Duck Restaurant in Te Anau.

The conversation chronicles Davies's remarkable journey from his roots in home cooking to achieving global chef stardom, a tale that unfolds through his work on private yachts serving celebrities and the world's elite, to his recent culinary competition triumphs. 

Davies discusses his prestigious role as a Beef and Lamb ambassador, expressing pride in representing New Zealand's esteemed produce. 

"I think as New Zealand chefs we're incredibly lucky to have such world-class products on our doorsteps," he states, emphasising the quality and reputation of local beef and lamb. 

His return to the ambassador role for a second term signifies, in his words, "the second time is even a little bit more special sort of it means it's not a fluke." 

The conversation also delves into Davies's victory at the Global Chef Pacific Rim semi-final in Auckland after an 18-year hiatus from competitive cooking. The support from his mentor, Mark Sycamore, and the use of high-quality local ingredients, such as Lumina lamb, were pivotal in his win. 

Davies recalls the moment with a blend of humility and ambition. 

"I'm one of those people. Take it day by day and step by step, you know, game by game, as rugby players say." 

Davies shares anecdotes from his time as a chef on luxury yachts, reflecting on the unique challenges and opportunities it presented. He recalls interactions with celebrities like Paris Hilton and Rihanna, and how he navigated their culinary preferences. One memorable exchange with Hilton saw him whipping up 15 dishes in half an hour, only for her to sample a teaspoon of each. 

The experience, while sometimes surreal, taught him to seize opportunities and challenge himself. As the conversation turns to the upcoming Global Chef Challenge in Singapore, Davies describes his preparation and training. He likens the competition to a title fight, preparing to "throw a couple of punches" on the world stage. 

The excitement for the event is palpable as he anticipates representing New Zealand with his family cheering him on. 

Davies's journey underscores the importance of embracing opportunities, the pride in showcasing one's national cuisine, and the relentless pursuit of excellence in the kitchen.

Listen to the full chat between Cameron Davies and Dominic George above.

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