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.

Nicola McConnell


Nicola McConnell is a marketing communications professional who chooses to specialise in the area she loves – food and drink.

She’s worked in the field for more than 20 years after training as a journalist. Nicola has traversed the Tasman Sea working in Sydney and Melbourne and now works from her Dunedin base. Nicola has worked for publicly listed corporations, family owned businesses and for herself – giving her an understanding of business from all sides.

Nicola is co-owner and founder of Marvellous Marketing which established and runs the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards and with Intermedia NZ is the co-owner of the New Zealand Chocolate Awards. As the owner of Dunedin marketing and PR consultancy Brand Amp, Nicola recently established Dine Dunedin.

Vanessa Baxter


Vanessa Baxter has recently repositioned her “The Fearless Kitchen” as a social enterprise bringing her passion of food to everyone. She is author of a cookbook of the same name, which has recently won two coveted awards. She has travelled the world extensively and believes food is the thread to her global friendships and understanding of the world.   She has made New Zealand her home for now and loves her opportunities through business and media to share her love of all things food.

Nicola Fraher


Nicola is a NZ Registered Nutritionist and has spent most of her career working in that area, including for the Heart Foundation and Community & Public Health.  In the last few years Nicola has had her own business, Nourish and shared her time between this and working in marketing for local Waipara winery, The Crater Rim.  Not being able to resist the opportunity to match good food with fine wines, Nicola has just published her first book, Savour & Sip, which features nourishing dishes that complement their range of wines.  Nicola has been a member of Food Writers for many years and is really keen to build up membership in the Christchurch region.

Asher


Asher has had a life-long interest in food.  He has trained and worked as a chef in restaurants around NZ, Australia, Japan and Scotland.  After realising this lifestyle wasn’t sustainable long-term, Asher retrained as a nutritionist, gaining a Masters degree and now works for the Heart Foundation creating recipe resources to help NZ families and school children prepare affordable and healthy meals.  In his spare time, Asher spends his time making recipe videos as a way to explore the possibilities of food media in the modern world.

 

Felicity O’Driscoll


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 country and brings this important knowledge to the Guild.

Kate Underwood


Kate is a food writer and founder of ‘Relish the Memory’ where she showcases and instagrams her latest travels, discoveries and kitchen creations. Kate contributes a regular column in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Nourish Magazine and is part of the Metro Cheap Eats judging panel. With a degree in Human Nutrition, she has spent the last six years working in marketing and communications for Potatoes New Zealand, and specifically as the Training and Education Manager for The Chip Group – a program that promotes healthier hot chips. She has recently joined Eat New Zealand, a food movement committed to putting NZ food on the world map. Kate brings her marketing, communication and social media skills to Food Writers New Zealand.

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.