Fri 2 Feb 2018

Top marks for Students

WITT cookery students had to be at their best to impress their latest judge.

Jonathon Marinovich is Executive Chef at Governors Eatery and Bar at the Novotel New Plymouth Hobson and he was recruited for his first spell of judging by WITT tutor Craig Ludlow.

The pair have history. In the mid-1990s when Jonathon was working at his parent’s restaurant, Craig joined the team and spent four years there.

Jonathon left for Auckland and after studying at AUT embarked on a journey which took him to work in restaurants around the world from Melbourne to London.

Sandwiched between that, he maintained his Taranaki links by designing the menu and assisting with the opening of Ozone in Shoreditch, London, and being involved in the opening of Frederic’s and Elixir in New Plymouth. More recently he has been an integral part of the launch of Meat & Liquor at Frederic’s and the recently opened Asian Kung-Fusion restaurant Little Glutton.

Craig was quite chuffed to bring in a well-known Taranaki name as a judge for his students’ work, and Jonathon was interested in seeing what the quality of work would be like.

Jonathon, who returned to Taranaki last April, was “really impressed” by the WITT students.

“There was clearly a lot of effort, and also a lot of research,’’ he said.

WITT has already proved a successful stepping stone into the industry through Governors. Commis chef Aashan Khatri, who is studying Level 5 cookery at WITT, has been at Governors for more than a year .

Jonathon is sure more will follow this year and he has plenty of advice for aspiring chefs.

 “The biggest part is to work hard and be interested – develop your passion and knowledge. It’s a big mistake to go into this work thinking it will be easy and that’s it’s just a matter of learning techniques.

“You have to be aware of trends and the types of cuisines which are becoming popular – and at the same time be very respectful to the cuisines and ethnicities they represent.”

Jonathon’s own journey is a non-stop one, even when he is not on the move.

He is presently working on a new menu for Governors’ - and his message to food fans is “watch this space”.


Picture: Jonathon Marinovich in the kitchen at Governors.