Wow! An opportunity to taste the food of six Michelin-starred chefs under one Auckland restaurant roof was not an opportunity I was likely to miss.

From 30 September, the SO Amazing Chefs event at Harbour Society restaurant within the SO/ Auckland hotel blended the magic of New Zealand’s world-class ingredients with the supreme skills of Michel Portos, Le Poulpe (France), Yusuke Goto, Amour (Tokyo), Julien Diaz, Saisons (France), Jean-François Bérard, Bastide des Saveurs (France) and Geoffrey Poësson, Brasserie du Baril (France) under the watchful eye of their own Michelin-starred chef Marc de Passorio. Now I ought to clarify that we should not, of course, refer to chefs as Michelin-starred but rather as chefs that during their tenure at a particular restaurant have attained Michelin-star status for that restaurant. 

Anyway, however you like to address them, these impressive culinary stars were out in full across that week as the chefs each conducted their own lunch and dinner service and shared their expertise in a cooking masterclass, and then presented a 12-hand dinner featuring all chefs on the final evening. Here is just a taste of that dinner…

There were many more hands than the magnificent 12 behind this impressive feast.

The SO/ Auckland team deserve much applause for including 14 students from the Culinary Arts School of Hospitality & Tourism at Auckland University of Technology as the commis for the entire week of events. Senior lecturer John Kelleher told me that his students came out on the other side of this opportunity having gained not only onsite work experience, communication skills and new culinary techniques but also possible job placements. What did they learn most from working with this impressive line-up of International chefs? Precision! 

So/ Auckland is also to be applauded for presenting this spectacular initiative at a time when it is so important for the New Zealand hospitality scene to have as many international food lovers, influencers and experts as possible across our restaurant offering. The more these globally respected chefs have the opportunity to visit us, the better our chances of finding a place for New Zealand on the lists of the world’s premium dining destinations.

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