Māori chef Charles Royal has received numerous accolades, including “New Zealand Innovative Chef of the Year” 2003, and the “Award of Innovation and Excellence” 2004 and 2005.
Charles trained as a chef in the New Zealand Army, gaining London City and Guilds qualifications. After ten years and having perfected cooking for a thousand people or a small dinner party, he worked in Air New Zealand’s catering service as the chef for business and first-class passengers and travelled the world sampling and cooking different cuisines.
A growing interest in the Slow Food movement and experimentation with native plants in cooking led Charles and his whanau to establish KINAKI NZ®, which produces dried herbs and spices for professional chefs all over the world.
Charles has been owner chef of three restaurants and has tutored cooking students at New Zealand polytechnics, as well as hosting cooking students from the USA, Italy, Germany and Australia.
Rotorua-based, he operates Māori food trails and cooking classes, promotes New Zealand’s indigenous foods internationally, and has also produced a cook book.
His book, “Cooking with Charles Royal” features a selection of unique flavoursome recipes with ingredients accessed from the native bush. Through the book, Charles shares ancient knowledge of: harvesting Aotearoa’s native foods, sustainability, and preparation and cooking methods.
At IncrediblEdge, Charles Royal will provide a unique indigenous food experience.
Royal’s signature Māori food delicacies include: pikopiko (indigenous edible ferns), horopito (indigenous pepper), kawakawa (indigenous basil), pirpiri (indigenous spicy sambal), haakeka (indigenous dried fungus), and indigenous teas.