Our Chefs

The Seafood School has a fabulous core team of chefs.  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 in 2017, he was Head Chef at the award winning The Oyster Inn on Waiheke Island.

Find out more about Paulie Hooton

Adam Rickett

Adam started with Nourish group at Euro and Pravda a few years ago and re-joins the company having worked on Waiheke Island at The Boat Shed for the past year and prior to that at The Matterhorn in Wellington as head chef. Adam looks to work with the seasons to create interesting technique-driven cuisine. He draws from multiple regional styles and brings a real buzz of passion and excitement to th

Find out more about Adam Rickett

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

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

Our Guest Chefs

Jonathan Pasion

Jonathan joined Hyatt in 2014 as a cook and has since progressed as the Chef de Cuisine at Andaz Maui’s Ka’ana Kitchen, one of the most popular restaurants on Maui, before joining the Park Hyatt Auckland team in 2019. He brings his sweet “local boy” attitude, unique skills and knowledge of modern local flare to the table at Onemata, Park Hyatt Auckland’s signature restaurant.

Find out more about Jonathan Pasion

Adam Rickett

Adam started with Nourish group at Euro and Pravda a few years ago and re-joins the company having worked on Waiheke Island at The Boat Shed for the past year and prior to that at The Matterhorn in Wellington as head chef. Adam looks to work with the seasons to create interesting technique-driven cuisine. He draws from multiple regional styles and brings a real buzz of passion and excitement to th

Find out more about Adam Rickett

Jamie Johnston

Jamie hails from Kent in the United Kingdom. Also known as "The garden of England", known for it's great produce. Jamie moved to Aotearoa 10 years ago and fell in love with the people, lifestyle, amazing produce and kai moana. Jamie has 20 years cooking under his belt. His first job was at Buckingham palace during his culinary school days. Since then he has worked with some of NZ's big guns. These

Find out more about Jamie Johnston