Executive Chef John Pickens has been cooking in kitchens around the world for more than 25 years. After attending culinary school, John got his first job on a yacht and knew he’d found his calling. The next decade was spent working on yachts around Europe, the Caribbean and America with his wife, Debbie, before returning to New Zealand and settling in Queenstown. Spotting a gap in the market for caterers to high end events, private functions and weddings, together they established Artisan Catering.
Today, John is enjoying his chance to share his food with a broader audience through Artisan Catering’s partnership with Mora Wines. The food coming from Mora Wines & Artisan Kitchen is a result of his passion for honest and social food with a focus on seasonal ingredients from Central Otago’s local growers. His dedication to his craft has earned him several accolades, including ‘Outstanding Chef of the Year 2019’ and the restaurant’s recognition as ‘People’s Choice of the Year 2021’ at the Queenstown Hospitality Awards.