Kiwi chef Mark Gardner’s interest in food began when he was a teenager, working as a dishwasher in his father’s Midway Beach restaurant in Gisborne. He gained his certificate in Professional Cookery ten years ago, and since then he has worked in some of New Zealand’s top restaurants - including the award-winning Astro Lab. Following that, Mark worked in Noosa on Australia’s Sunshine Coast, before returning home to establish a catering company, Anilla. In 2005, Mark travelled the globe, working in the Mediterranean, the Bahamas and the Caribbean as a chef on ocean-going super yachts. He says, “I’ve led a charmed life as a chef, which has allowed me to travel the world and cook for the rich and famous as well as indulge in my ongoing passion for surfing in some of the most beautiful surf breaks in the world.”
The past year Mark has been overwhelmed with opportunities to further his culinary career and his profile. His biggest achievement is a spot co-presenting the Australian television cooking show Surfing the Menu. On Surfing the Menu, Kiwi chef Mark Gardner joins Ben ‘Bender’ O’Donoghue on a foodies’ road-trip around New Zealand. The two chefs take turns at creating delicious food using indigenous methods and ingredients.