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Will they be Master Chefs, or will there be some Kitchen Nightmares?

Michael McHugh, MiNDFOOD's CEO (left), dons his apron for a Silver Fern Farms event

Top execs, including MiNDFOOD's CEO, join premier chefs at the stoves for charity

Will they be Master Chefs, or will there be some Kitchen Nightmares?

MiNDFOOD CEO Michael McHugh will join 20 other high-profile executives and 10 of New Zealand’s premier chefs behind the stoves in Dunedin tonight, raising funds for the FoodShare charity.

At the first CEO Cook-Off’, each of the chefs will take two executives under their wing to produce a meal for a group of 25 paying guests at the Forbury Park events centre. Ten chefs, so 250 diners in total.

Chefs include Fleur Sullivan of the internationally renowned Fleur’s Place, Moeraki; Andy Bozhiqi, of Millbrook Resort, Queenstown; and Michael Coughlin of Pier 24, Dunedin.

Michael McHugh’s colleagues include David Kirk, the 1987 Rugby World Cup-winning captain, co-founder of Bailador Investments and FoodShare’s chairman, and the charity’s founder and CEO, Deborah Manning.

The event is a fundraiser for FoodShare, which collects surplus food and distributes it to those in need around Dunedin.

In the lead-up to the event participants have been raising funds to support FoodShare. The goal is to raise $50,000 and, as of this morning, the charity’s Givealittle page lists the total so far at more than $46,000.

Naturally, a number of the Southern city’s senior executives are putting on their aprons, like Dunedin Airport chief executive Richard Roberts.

He lists his specialties as pork pies, dripping and black pudding and has put in a bit of cooking practice at work “feeding the troops”.

CrestClean managing director Grant McLauchlan admits that the kitchen is not his usual domain, but he’s open to any tips that come his way.

“We are the sous-chefs to provide support. I guess we’ll be the circus act beside the serious part.”

Click Property Management managing director Andrea Elliott reckons she does some “pretty mean” pork dishes and her culinary preferences have been influenced by a recent trip to China.

A former lawyer, Manning left the profession and created FoodShare in March 2012. Her vision was to reduce food poverty in the Dunedin community.

She collected and distributed donated food from her car. In the first month the equivalent of 1000 meals was distributed through Dunedin charities to their clients.

FoodShare now collects surplus food from a growing list of providers and regularly distributes more than 50,000 meals each month. A second venture, KiwiHarvest, began in Auckland in March 2015.

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