Al Brown – chef, restaurateur and author
Food is the vehicle
Al Brown is a Chef, Restaurateur & Author. His approach to cooking is all about simplicity and generosity with dishes that deliver uncomplicated excellence and showcase the culinary landscape of New Zealand. People and place are key to his philosophy; wonderful friends and unique locations will always enhance an eating experience. In Al's opinion, food is the vehicle for conversation, fun and memorable occasions.
Al is the mastermind behind highly successful Auckland eateries, Depot and Federal Delicatessen as well as the bagel factories Best Ugly Bagels. Al has presented a number of culinary television shows and is the author of popular cook books 'Go Fish: Recipes and Stories from the New Zealand Coast', 'Stoked: Cooking with Fire', 'Get Fresh: Stories & Recipes from Heartland New Zealand' & 'Depot: Biography of a Restaurant'. His latest title, 'Eat Up New Zealand' was released in September 2017.
Al spends his time outside of work walking his dogs and fishing from his ‘new’ old boat, Nautilus.
Niki Bezzant – food and nutrition writer
Passionate about good nutrition
Niki Bezzant is a food and nutrition writer, columnist, media commentator and speaker.
She was the Editor-in-chief of NZ’s top-selling food magazine, Healthy Food Guide. She is the author of two cookbooks, a weekly columnist for the Herald on Sunday, a regular blogger and frequent contributor to TV and radio.
Niki is a member of the Council of Directors for the True Health Initiative; an international group devoted to disseminating and applying what we know for sure about health promotion and disease prevention.
She is passionate about finding solutions to our childhood obesity crisis, and recently started a petition for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
Dan MacKay - Landscape Designer
Sustaining ourselves and our environment
Dan is one of New Zealand’s most renowned landscape designers, most recently known for his appearance as resident landscape and gardening expert on TVNZ’s home and garden makeover reality series HOMEmade.
For the past 15 years, Dan has brought his wild ideas to life, all of which are unique and tackled with true enthusiasm. Originally from Timaru, Dan travelled the world before settling in Auckland to study horticulture, landscape design and construction. Nowadays, his talent and passion has made him a household name to many. Dan turned his passion in to a career with the launch of his business Ministry of Ground – an Auckland landscaping solutions company that aims to take a different perspective on landscaping its works renowned for being a beautiful collision between art and practicality.
Dan loves to push the boundaries of landscape design with his innovative ideas. However, his dedication to sustainability is what sets him apart from the rest. His landscape designs encourage customers to sustain not only themselves but the environment.
In his spare time Dan loves to skateboard with his five children, and tend to his own vegetable garden.