18 Dec 2015
By Wright Communications
Chef Xu, the Executive Chef for western cuisine at the Great Hall of the People of China, is in New Zealand hosting six other Chinese chefs who had all won a prestigious competition run by Luminaries magazine.
Aotearoa Fisheries Chief Executive Carl Carrington had already met Chef Xu in Beijing in November.
The largest Iwi fisheries company in New Zealand was part of a trade delegation to China and Hong Kong led by Minister for Māori Development, Hon Te Ururoa Flavell.
"This visit by Chef Xu is a chance to introduce him to other species of fish caught in New Zealand that are not currently exported to China, and provides the opportunity to share the unique story of Aotearoa Fisheries with him," says Mr Carrington.
Chef Xu will visit wet fish operations in Mt Wellington as well as the oyster factory in Mangere.
"When we last met our principles of kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga really resonated with him, and he shares our values of looking after our environment and fish stocks to ensure there is plenty for generations to come."
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Director of Maori Customers, Tina Wilson, says it is important for exporters to get influencers such as Chef Xu to New Zealand to see how we produce our seafood.
"China is a key market for the future for different types of species from New Zealand, as well as pāua and oyster, and as Chef Xu specialises in western cuisine we hope he will use some of our products in his cooking and showcase it in his country," she says.
Carl Carrington says the key to Chef Xu's visit was actively listening to his philosophy on cooking, as well as how he approaches and constructs his dishes.
"It's not our place to suggest how a great chef such as Chef Xu cooks the product, but to give him access to the most pristine raw materials to work with to incorporate into his hugely popular style of cooking," he says.
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