2024 Te Pūkenga Festival Chef Application

2024 Te Pūkenga Festival Chef

The Havelock Mussel & Seafood Festival is proud to be partnering with local Te Pūkenga Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) for another year to bring the 2024 Te Pūkenga Festival Chef cooking competition. 

Scheduled to take place in the NZ King Salmon Culinary Tent at the 2024 festival on the 16th of March. 

This community cooking competition is open to all ages and all abilities, with the focus being on creating a Kai Moana dish highlighting NZ King Salmon and/or NZ Greenshell Mussels.  

Sponsored by:

In Association with:


2024 Judges:

  • Master Chef NZ Chef of the Year Zennon Wijlens

  • NMIT Culinary Tutor Chris Fortune

Two categories are open to the community to enter:

  • Junior Competition (up to the leaving age of high school). 

  • Senior Competition is open to all in the community including Tertiary Students, Industry Chefs, Home Cooks and all lovers of Kai Moana.

Competition Structure:

  • Each contestant will have 20 minutes to cook their signature dish.   

  • Each contestant will provide their own equipment and ingredients. 

  • Each contestant will provide 2 portions (one for judging and one for photography). 

  • At the festival, the winner from each category will take out the “2024 Te Pūkenga Festival Chef” title and be awarded the annual trophy alongside a selection of prizes.

  • Winners will be announced on the Gascoigne Wicks Main stage on the day.  

2024 Te Pūkenga Festival Chef Application


  • All applicants must complete and submit the REGISTRATION FORM prior to 29th February 2024. APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED! 

  • After applications are received we will contact you via email to chat about your favourite dish.  

  • Applicants can create any Kai Moana dish they think best showcases their skills and demonstrates their personality, using New Zealand King Salmon and/or NZ Greenshell mussels as the key “hero” ingredients.

  • The top 4 applications from each category will be invited to “COOK OFF” at the Havelock Mussel & Seafood Festival on Saturday the 16th of March 2024.   

If you have any questions or queries about your application or the competition itself, please contact Kara on