Govind Armstrong is Executive Chef and partner of leading Los Angeles restaurant Table 8 and from mid this year his creative talent will be evident in the food served to premium customers on Air New Zealand flights from the United States.

Geoff Scott, Executive Chef at Hilton Auckland's White Restaurant has also been appointed, with responsibility for premium meals on long-haul flights from New Zealand.

Govind and Geoff join London-based expatriate Kiwi Peter Gordon (The Providores, London) who consults on menus for flights from the United Kingdom; Rex Morgan (Citron, Wellington) who provides the creative direction behind the food on the short-haul network and in the New Zealand Koru lounges; and Tony Adcock (Harbourside and Fish, Auckland) who provides overall industry insight and expertise into the airline's menu development.

The new appointments coincide with Air New Zealand's revitalisation of its long-haul in-flight offering, which it will reveal from mid this year.

"Both Govind and Geoff are the perfect fit for the Air New Zealand consultant chef programme," says Air New Zealand Group General Manager Marketing, Network and Sales, Norm Thompson.

"Govind's creations are simple and delicious, combining a focus on high quality produce with carefully defined flavours - perfect for our onboard service.

"Geoff uses his international experience to great effect by complimenting the best of New Zealand produce with delicate sauces and Pacific Rim flavours.

"The new menus being designed by the team will bring a very special food experience to our premium customers."

Air New Zealand has had a consultant chef programme for ten years, led by Tony Adcock, who has played a significant role in the development of the airline's award winning food and beverage service.

"As we celebrate a very successful ten years under Tony's guidance and plan for the launch of our exciting new long-haul service, it is the perfect opportunity to introduce additional expertise into the team," said Mr Thompson.

"We take pride in showcasing the very best of New Zealand's food and beverage offerings and look forward to enjoying Govind and Geoff's creations in-flight."

About Govind Armstrong

Raised in both Los Angeles and on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, Govind has a distinctive approach to cooking, an easygoing style and long dreadlocks - and he is fast becoming one of the brightest stars in the US, both in the kitchen and on TV.

The New Zealand food fan was also recently selected by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to serve as a Culinary Ambassador, helping promote New Zealand food.

This year he is also serving as a celebrity chef for Crystal Cruises and Cunard's Queen Mary II. Already he's featured on a range of US television networks and on popular shows including NBC's The Today Show and ABC's The Great Domestic Showdown. He has also appeared in a range of leading publications and was in the 2004 People magazine "50 Most Beautiful People" issue.

Previous chef positions for Govind include time at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, the fashionable Postrio in San Francisco, Jackson's - where he received universally rave reviews for his innovative California fare and Pinot Hollywood, where he co-ordinated many celebrity-filled parties for movie premieres, the Oscars and the Grammys.

In 2000, Govind reconnected with friend Ben Ford and the pair collaborated to open Chadwick.

Now, at 34, Armstrong is doing what every young chef dreams of - putting his talents and personal style to work for customers at his very own restaurant, the universally praised and celebrity endorsed Table 8.

A charismatic proponent of the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients prepared without excessive saucing, complication or fusion, Armstrong has emerged as one of America's most influential young chefs.

About Table 8

TABLE 8 restaurant in Los Angeles is the vision of the Meridian Entertainment, an innovative and passionate entertainment development company founded by Chris Heyman and Josh Woodward. The TABLE 8 partnership also includes the culinary world's newest star, Executive Chef Govind Armstrong, Chef de Cuisine Andrew Kirschener and Nikos Karalekas.

TABLE 8 offers an outstanding dining experience in a decidedly relaxed, yet sophisticated environment. With an ever-changing menu of market-driven California seasonal cuisine, TABLE 8 has established itself as both a favourite of Los Angeles diners and the international press alike. In addition to the main dining room, the sexy ambiance and delectable "small plate" menu of the TABLE 8 lounge has made it a customer favourite.

While the restaurant's celebrity clientele such as Elton John, Al Pacino and Sharon Stone may have thrust it into the limelight from the beginning, it is truly the food that has propelled TABLE 8 onto the international culinary stage and has insured the satisfaction of diners each and every night.

About Geoff Scott

Executive Chef Geoff Scott established the kitchen at Auckland's Hilton Hotel and has steered it through some of Auckland's biggest events including the America's Cup.

Geoff studied professional cookery at AUT (then ATI) and has held roles at Auckland's Travelodge, opened the Blues Bar at Wellington's Plaza International Hotel, won the Cliff Trillo Master Chef and the Best of the Nation Award.

Offshore he has worked for Le Gavroche and Chez Nico in London, Gualtiero Marchesi in Milan and for Allain Ducasse at Le Louis Cairns in Monte Carlo.

Since his return to New Zealand, Geoff was Executive Sous Chef at the Carlton Hotel, then Chef de Cuisine at the Hunting Lodge, before joining the Hilton. His team won gold in the prestigious Culinary Fare Restaurant of the Year three years in a row and were awarded the overall winners in 2004.

About White

'White', the restaurant at Hilton Auckland opened in June 2001. 'White' is in the perfect location at the northern end of Princes Wharf overlooking the sparkling waters of the Waitemata harbour, only 3 minutes walk from the CBD.

The interior of 'White' designed by Dan Kwan of Tribeca, describes the environment of the restaurant as a white canvas; the chef provides the palette while every guest is the artist. With the changing colours of the sea from blue to green to silver, and the ever-changing reflection of light shinning through the floor to ceiling windows, 'White' provides a colourful panoramic view across the Waitemata harbour.

'White' offers both inside and al fresco dining on White Terrace. The Executive boardroom adjacent to White also provides private luncheon and dinner parties for up to 12 guests - a purpose built multi-function room for intimate celebrations or important business meetings.

White is one of the few restaurants in Auckland that operates for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the year. In 2003 'White' was announced as Auckland's and New Zealand's top restaurant for 2003 by 'Eating Out Magazine"


Ends


Released by Air New Zealand Public Affairs Phone 09 336 2761

NOTE: The content of all Air New Zealand media releases are accurate at the time of issue, as stated at the top of each release. For updates on any changes, please contact Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 19,500 daily flights to 1,071 airports in 171 countries.

For more information about Air New Zealand visit www.airnewzealand.com and for more information about Star Alliance visit www.staralliance.com.