Kate Fay is one of New Zealand’s most renowned chefs. She headed up the kitchen team at iconic restaurant, Cibo Parnell, for 23 years and picked up many Beef + Lamb Excellence Awards and Ambassador titles along the way. In 2018 she was awarded the prestigious title of Platinum Ambassador Chef – a lifetime accolade presented by Beef + Lamb New Zealand - and is the first female chef to hold this title.
Kate’s career began after she spent time cooking while on a kibbutz in Israel during her OE. When she returned to New Zealand she trained as a chef at what is now AUT. Kate says she was the only woman in the class, but this didn’t hold her back from becoming one of New Zealand’s most celebrated chefs.
In the early 1990s, Kate worked at the French Café under founder Annie Mantell. She then joined Cibo in 1999 which coincided with the first time she was named a Beef + Lamb Ambassador Chef. Over time her cooking style evolved through her extensive travels allowing her to bring to the plate an amazing blend of Asian and European tastes, colours, flavours, and textures.
At Cibo Kate created menus inspired by high-quality, accessible New Zealand ingredients. She created casual yet refined cuisine capturing the essence of primary ingredients and using combinations that enhanced and highlighted fresh seasonal produce.
In March 2022, Kate took up a new role as Development and Production Head Chef at Auckland-based fine food store, Sabato. Kate uses her extensive chef knowledge in her new role to create new ready-to-eat products and is enjoying the challenge and her new 9 to 5 routine.
Coeliac NZ is fortunate to have Kate Fay as a new Ambassador Chef, and we look forward to sharing her gluten free recipes with you in the coming months.
Listen to The Breeze tomorrow when Coeliac NZ Ambbasador Robart Scott will be interviewing Kate about her diagnosis of coeliac disease and experience working in the hospitality industry.