Our Chefs

The Seafood School has a fabulous core team of chefs – most of whom have been with the School since we first opened.  Their combined skill and knowledge is incredible and they create new seafood recipes each month to share with us in the cooking classes.  We also enjoy inviting guest chefs in to share their travel stories and wonderful international seafood recipes.

Paulie Hooton

The Seafood School’s head chef, Paulie Hooton, has more than 25 years’ experience working in some of New Zealand’s most iconic restaurants. Before joining the Seafood School, he was most recently Head Chef at the award winning The Oyster Inn on Waiheke Island.

Find out more about Paulie Hooton

Marco Edwardes

Marco has been presenting his delicious recipes at the School since 2010. With a wicked sense of humour and incredibly talented repertoire of recipes, Marco creates modern New Zealand cuisine with a classical European base using the best and freshest ingredients available.

Find out more about Marco Edwardes

Colin Doyle

Cooking has always been a passion for self-taught Australian cook Colin Doyle. When he arrived in New Zealand from the United States, having just completed a PhD in X-ray Spectroscopy, he decided that he should pursue culinary as well as academic endeavours, and a teaching role at Auckland Seafood School has allowed him to progress from kitchen assistant to teaching chef.

Find out more about Colin Doyle

John Campbell

John Campbell trained in New Zealand before travelling to Sydney and through Asia, surfing whenever there were waves. He landed in London and worked in restaurants and hotels while gaining a certificate in Advanced Cookery at Westminster Catering College.

Find out more about John Campbell

Petra New

A trained nutritionist, Petra New qualified as a chef in 1989 and worked her way around the world, soaking up the flavours of each country she spent time in.

Find out more about Petra New

Mark Dronjak

Mark has 30 years experience in hospitality as a chef with a freestyle approach to cooking. A devotee of the great seafood New Zealand has to offer his passionate teaching styles allows Mark to focus on the very best of seasonal produce combining flavour, texture, presentation and encouraging a visual appeal through presentation techniques.

Find out more about Mark Dronjak

Steve Roberts

Steve Roberts is a multi-award-winning chef with an infectious passion for cooking. After classical professional training, Steve decided travel was on the cards. This led him to Australia and then on to Japan for six years, where he soaked up the nuances of Japanese cuisine. Returning to New Zealand he has since lead the kitchens at The Hunting Lodge, Hotel du Vin, Sileni Estate, the Spencer on

Find out more about Steve Roberts

Our Guest Chefs

Grant Kitchen

Award winning chef Grant Kitchen is head chef of Le Chef www.le-chef.co.nz, winners of the Golden Knife Award 2016 Restaurant Month. Grant is also the Salon Director for NZ Chefs Association and the National Hospitality Competitions and Judge for Hospitality NZ National Awards.

Find out more about Grant Kitchen

Mark Southon

After training at many Michelin star restaurants in Europe, Mark Southon embarked on his culinary tour down under. From there, he landed a prestigious position at Vue de Monde - Australia's top restaurant for the past two years running. He then fell in love with our shores and has continued his illustrious career in NZ.

Find out more about Mark Southon

Akira Kugue

Akira Kugue trained in Gion, Kyoto. Moving to Auckland Akira ran Auckland's downtown sushi bar in Seamart prior to opening Gion restaurant in Parnell.

Find out more about Akira Kugue

Nici Wickes

Nici Wickes is the highly entertaining and informative chef of the successful TV show World Kitchen, a cookbook author and the astute restaurant critic and food writer for VIVA (New Zealand Herald’s food, fashion & living mag).

Find out more about Nici Wickes

Peta Mathias

Peta Mathias is a respected and prolific New Zealand chef, author and broadcaster, who now builds on the culinary travel experience with her gastronomic tours in the South of France, Morocco and India.

Find out more about Peta Mathias