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Chef Mark Sycamore

Chef Mark Sycamore of Blanket Bay has a career spanning nearly 25 years in professional kitchens from traditional English pubs, through up market cafes and restaurants to high-end luxury lodges. He has spent a number of years as a lecturer hoping to inspire the next generation of culinary professionals.      

Mark is a strong believer in personal development and has spent unpaid time in a number of restaurants around the world including Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants in London and New York, a number of 2 and 3 hat restaurants in Sydney, Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco and Public in New York City.  He has also attended professional development courses at The Culinary Institute of America and The French Culinary Institute in New York City.

He has been awarded a number of accolades including NZ Chef of The Year, The Gordon Ramsay NZ young chef Scholarship, WACS Global Chefs Challenge NZ winner and over 30 gold medals at Local, National and International competitions. In 2016 I represented NZ in the World Final of the Global Chefs Challenge.  Mark ismost proud of the fact he has used his knowledge to train and mentor a number of junior chefs to achieve success at National and International level competitions, training 3 NZ Commis Chefs of the year and the 2018 Toque d’Or winning team.

For the past 10 years Mark has been a member of the NZ Culinary Team who have achieved a number of medals at International competitions. In October 2016 we were the first NZ team in 28 years to compete at the World Culinary Olympics gaining 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. Following the Olympic campaign he was promoted to Team Captain for the subsequent campaign at FHA Singapore where we achieved New Zealand’s best ever result of runner up in both the International Culinary Challenge and the Battle of the Lion.

Over the years his food philosophy has evolved but its essence is very simple – take the freshest, locally grown produce and treat it with passion, care and respect to produce great tasting food.  He like's to showcase the diversity of world cuisine using flavor combinations which are rooted in tradition but presented in a contemporary style.

We are very fortunate as chefs in New Zealand that the last few years has seen a proliferation of  food producers and suppliers wanting to work with chefs to deliver amazing experiences for the dining public.  Mark actively seeks out these like minded enthusiasts to provide the starting point for my goal of delivering world class cuisine.