Acclaimed chef to head Te Waonui Forest Retreat culinary lineup

Tourism West Coast
Sept. 3, 2018

Scenic Hotel Group’s five-star Te Waonui Forest Retreat located near the township of Franz Josef Glacier in the heart of Glacier Country welcomes the appointment of Jean Michel Poulot to the position of Executive Chef. 

Jean Michel brings with him that exceptional blend of high-end international experience that earned him a Michelin star, together with a strong affinity for all things 'naturally New Zealand.' His previous experience in New Zealand includes heading up the kitchen and world-class culinary offering at one of New Zealand’s leading luxury lodges. 

Jean Michel now calls New Zealand home, a place where he can also indulge his passion for fly fishing, and never more so than on the wonderful West Coast of the South Island.  Jean Michel also loves New Zealand nature and the forest setting where he enjoys foraging for herbs and native ingredients to integrate into his dishes.

For Jean Michel, the perfect dish is one that contains no more than three or four flavours, is cooked to perfection, and presented without fuss or adornments, letting the taste of the region speak for itself. This will be a focus for Te Waonui’s new degustation menu which will change regularly and be a showcase of seasonal South Island produce. Local ingredients that Jean Michel is eager to get cooking with include whitebait, crayfish, salmon and locally produced meat together with traditional Maori herbs, native fauna, wild mushrooms and truffles. 

Driven by new challenges, Jean Michel describes the seasonal nature of Glacier Country as fitting perfectly with his quest for "something and someplace new" that brings fresh culinary challenges, and of course the ever-present fly fishing opportunities! To this end, Jean Michel draws a comparison to his menu philosophy which is continually evolving and to best demonstrate the flavours and produce of the region together with the style of the place.  

Experience the extraordinary at Te Waonui Forest Retreat Franz Josef which re-opens for the season on 01 September 2018.

Media Enquiries: 

Louise Brooks, elbe communications,, phone: 021 220 4944