Our Committee Members
Michelle Jones – President
Michelle has a passion for exploring new places, connecting with local people, their culture and food. She launched The Foodie Inc blog to share her love of New Zealand food, wine and places to go, after commencing her Masters and photographing a cookbook. Michelle brings extensive marketing experience across a broad range of industries from hospitality to retail and financial services. She will graduate with a Le Cordon Bleu Master of Gastronomic Tourism in late 2018.
Niki Bezzant – Past President
Niki Bezzant is a writer, speaker, editor and commentator. She’s the founding editor (now editor-at-large) of Healthy Food Guide magazine, a columnist for the Herald on Sunday and a frequent contributor to broadcast media. Niki has been involved in the food media for nearly 20 years. She is currently president of Food Writers New Zealand and a proud ambassador for the Garden to Table programme which helps kids learn how to grow, cook and share food. She is a member of the Council of Directors for the True Health Initiative, a global coalition of health professionals dedicated to sharing a science-based message of what we know for sure about lifestyle and health. She is a board member for the NZ Nutrition Foundation. Niki is passionate about eating well in every sense; food that makes you happy and also nourishes.
Kate Fleur Underwood
Kate is the founder of food blog ‘Relish the Memory’ where she showcases (and instagrams!) her latest discoveries, travels and kitchen creations. Kate contributes a regular column in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Nourish Magazine. With a degree in Human Nutrition, she is the Training and Education Manager for The Chip Group, a non-profit organisation promoting healthier hot chips in New Zealand. Kate brings her marketing and communication skills to Food Writers New Zealand.
Andrea Bidois – Treasurer
Andrea is a public health nutritionist at the Heart Foundation, involved in a range of initiatives that aim to improve the food supply and increase the availability of healthier foods and beverages. A key part of Andrea’s role is to manage programmes and resources that support the up skilling of caterers and foodservice workers to improve the food they produce. The Guild will benefit from Andrea’s experience in project management and pragmatic approach to Guild activities.
Felicity started out in Banking and Property before taking on Cook the Books, the Auckland based Cookbook Store and Demonstration Kitchen. The kitchen is the home of Choice TV series ‘Cook the Books’, which celebrates New Zealand cookbook authors and their stories. Felicity has been the Chair of The Ponsonby Business Association for six years. Felicity is at the grass roots of cookbook titles and sales in this county and brings this important knowledge to the Guild.
Mark is a specialist food and hospitality business consultant working with clients to create new food and beverage products, business strategies, sales growth, change culture and improved profitability. He has recently established ToHo, a hospitality and tourism consultancy, with a vision to focus on the customer experience. Mark was a member of one of NZ’s first cooking teams to compete in Europe, an early adopter in the NZ art style food movement, and has owned restaurants and food production companies. Mark writes a coaching column for M2 magazine, a blog and has authored a book called “Think Differently”. He is on the board of Woop a new home meal delivery startup.
Lucy Corry – Vice President
Lucy Corry is a Wellington-based journalist, food writer and communications consultant. She loves to cook, eat, read and write about food and the people who make or grow it. Lucy writes a weekly recipe column for stuff.co.nz, The Dominion Post, Waikato Times and The Press and is Taste editor for NZ Life & Leisure magazine.
Vanessa Baxter has become well recognised as an expert teacher, trainer and speaker, where she draws not only from her MasterChef experience but upon the many years of bringing people together that preceded that experience. Vanessa has now combined everything she loves and created a Social Enterprise known as The Fearless Kitchen. It encompasses bringing people together around food but it also is about bringing different cuisines to people. Vanessa is a strong example of living life to the full and has always held the belief that life should not be bound by rules but should be attacked with vision and energy and loads of passion. Vanessa is well loved by children who she empowers through her engaging approach to give back events which allow children to dive into the process and appreciate the ingredients they are using. She is an inspiring example for nourishing relationships through collaborative cooking. Vanessa’s cookbook has already won two awards and is also named The Fearless Kitchen.
Shona is a freelance photographer and food communicator, based in Auckland. She works with clients to communicate and enhance their food-based vision. Her work is inspired by techniques in classical painting; textural colours, interplay of light and shadow and the subtle manipulation of object placement in order to create a lasting impression. Her images can be found on shonadey.co.nz. Shona enjoys working with Food Writers New Zealand to help organise events, assist with visual communication and provide an evocative record of the type of fun and inspiration that Food Writers NZ provides for its members.