Along with Hawke’s Bay Tourism, Cuisine is delighted to announce Sir Graeme Avery as the inaugural F.A.W.C! Hawke’s Bay Legend.


Sir Graeme Avery, the first F.A.W.C! Hawke’s Bay Legend, co-founded Sileni Estates winery and was a founder of the acclaimed Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market, which was instrumental in mobilising the national farmers’ market movement. He also led the formation of the original Hawke’s Bay Wine Country Tourism Association and has worked informally with Ngāti Kahungunu on potential projects.

Sir Graeme said he was honoured and thrilled to receive the award, which recognises those who have contributed greatly to the reputation of Hawke’s Bay as a must-visit destination for food and drink lovers. “The award reflects the support of all the great people I have worked with in establishing the Hawke’s Bay Food Group, Hawke’s Bay Wine Country Tourism, the New Zealand Food and Wine Tourism Marketing Network, and Sileni winery and visitor centre.”

Fellow nominees for the award were Sam and Mary Orton (founders of Orton’s catering and event management company), Kate Radburnd (owner and winemaker at Radburnd Cellars), Jeremy Rameka (chef and co-owner of Pacifica restaurant) and Kim Thorp (communications, marketing and branding consultant and co-owner of Black Barn Vineyards).

Cuisine editor Kelli Brett was on the judging panel alongside Sarah Meikle, Chief Executive of Wellington Culinary Events Trust and George Hickton, Chairman of Hawke’s Bay Tourism. “Each and every one of our finalists has made a lasting, momentous impact on the landscape of food tourism – not just in Hawke’s Bay, but across New Zealand,” says Kelli.

Hawke’s Bay Tourism Chief Executive Hamish Saxton says the award will become a regular component within the Summer F.A.W.C! festival. “Every year we celebrate Hawke’s Bay food, wine, beverages, chefs, artisans, leaders and producers during F.A.W.C!, and Hawke’s Bay Legends will be an important component of that.”

Sir Graeme and the other nominees will receive specially commissioned awards made by Māori carver Phil Belcher.

Further information can be found at