See their winning dishes and find out a little about them.




Samantha Warena, 2021 North Island Winner

Samantha Warena, North Island Finalist


After achieving a silver medal, Samantha was elated with the win and is looking forward to competing in Sydney.

“I’m now working on my game plan for the big event and taking the judges’ feedback to heart, so I can improve for the Sydney finals. This was a great opportunity to learn new things and meet the other contestants. We had a great time and hope to keep in touch.”

Samantha Warena

Main: Seared ginger stuffed sous vide chicken breast, a braised chicken lollipop on sweet potato puree and vegetables

Dessert: Chilli infused chocolate mousse on a crispy orange shortbread served with spiced rhubarb

Jamie Jackson, South Island Winner

Jamie Jackson, South Island Finalist

 A familiar face from South Island is Jamie Jackson who was a finalist for the 2020 virtual cooking competition. Jamie achieved a silver medal.

“This year, I’ve managed to take it that one step forward securing silver. I’ll now be heading back to the practice kitchen to further perfect my skills so that I’m in top form when I compete in Australia.”


Jamie Jackson

Main: Roasted chicken with a kumara croquette, carrot puree, broccolini and herb oil split jus

Dessert: Fermented black pepper and chocolate cremeux, caramelized white chocolate and citrus