Cuisine and wine consultants
At Air New Zealand we understand that kai is much more than food. It’s about whānau (family and friends) and oranga (health and wellness). How we source our ingredients matters because we are proud kaitiaki, guardians of our land. We are also inspired to be excellent hosts by manaakitanga, the Māori tradition of hospitality. Our menu, created by our talented culinary team and consultant chefs Peter Gordon and Michael Meredith, shows where we come from and where we are going. It is presented to you with aroha, care and pride.
Peter is widely known as the godfather of fusion cuisine. His unique culinary philosophy is influenced by his Māori heritage and extensive world travels. Peter has two internationally-acclaimed restaurants in Auckland - Bellota and The Sugar Club, and one in London - The Providores and Tapa Room. He is co-founder of London-based gourmet doughnut company, Crosstown, and is an ardent supporter and fundraiser in New Zealand and the U.K., most notably for Leukaemia charities. In 2009 he was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the food industry.
Michael Meredith, Meredith's and Eat My Lunch (Auckland)
Samoan born and New Zealand raised, Michael is the head chef and owner of Auckland’s award-winning degustation restaurant Meredith’s. Michael is known for his adventurous approach to fine dining, receiving numerous accolades for his imaginative dishes which showcase New Zealand in a way that never fails to surprise and delight. Michael is the co-founder of social enterprise ‘Eat My Lunch’, a charitable business that provides free lunches for children in need around New Zealand. He was honoured as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services as a restaurateur and to philanthropy in 2017.
Selecting wines for drinking inflight takes special care as there are unique conditions to consider. The low humidity and high altitude affect our palate, causing the tannin and astringency of wine to taste more pronounced. Our panel of judges takes all that into account when selecting wines for Air New Zealand. The judges conduct blind wine tastings to select the perfect wines for each class on Air New Zealand. Currently on our panel of judges:
John Belsham, Foxes Island Wines
An internationally respected wine judge and critic, John Belsham has produced and evaluated wine for over 35 years. He founded Foxes Island Wines in 1992. Belsham served as the Chairman of Judges for the Air New Zealand wine awards from 1999-2003 and has held the role of Wine Consultant to Air New Zealand since July 2000.
Jim Harre, international wine show judge
Jim comes from a family that is rich in winemaking history and is an international wine judge. Jim and his wife Wendy own and operate the Gates Country Lodge in North Canterbury.
Linda Murphy, writer, editor & judge
Linda Murphy is based in Sonoma County in the United States and is one of the world’s most sought after wine judges. Linda is co-author, with Jancis Robinson MW, of American Wine: The Ultimate Companion to the Wines and Wineries of United States. She is also Contributing Editor to Food and Wine magazine’s Wine Guide and is a regular contributor to leading wine publications, such as Decanter and WineReviewOnline.
Fongyee Walker, co-founder of Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting
Fongyee Walker is based in Beijing and is the co-founder of Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting, leaders in Chinese wine education and consultancy. She has judged at numerous global wine shows, including the International Wine Challenge in London, and is currently the only person in mainland China to have passed both the Theory and Practical Master of Wine exams. Fongyee writes and judges extensively for many popular Chinese magazines, including Food and Wine and Decanter (China).