Visiting Indian chef and Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship
recipient Kunal Kapoor and host Minister for Primary
Industries David Carter board TSS Earnslaw on Saturday as
part of the Mr Kapoor's whirlwind weekend tour of
Queenstown and Cromwell. Photo by James Beech.
The ''gourmet guru'' of India has praised New Zealanders
for their hospitality during his whistle-stop fact-finding tour
of New Zealand, which took in Queenstown and Cromwell at the
Culinary maestro Kunal Kapoor, executive sous chef at the
luxury hotel Leela Kempinski Gurgaon and judge on Masterchef
India, was presented with the Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship
by Minister for Primary Industries David Carter, on behalf of
the New Zealand Government, in Delhi in late November.
Mr Carter hosted Mr Kapoor in Queenstown.
Mr Kapoor said he helped ''let go of my fear of heights''
during visits to the Skyline Gondola and luge and the
The visiting gourmand sampled the ''amazing'' cuisine in
Michelin-starred chef Josh Emmet's restaurant, Rata. He was
scheduled to give a cooking demonstration in Queenstown
Resort College and explore New Zealand produce at the
Cromwell farmers' market.
On the Steamer Wharf on Saturday, before the party boarded a
TSS Earnslaw cruise, Mr Kapoor said Sir Edmund was renowned
in India as the man who first climbed Mt Everest. He said his
mother, who knew little of the world outside India, was
especially proud her son was awarded the fellowship in his
''For me, he signifies inner strength and courage to do what
you want to do in life.
''I'm happy and honoured to be part of this exclusive club.''
The fellowship commemorated the legacy of Sir Edmund's work
to build ties between New Zealand, India and Nepal and was
launched by then prime minister Helen Clark in 2008, the year
the explorer and former New Zealand High Commissioner to
Miss Clark said at the time the fellowship would enable
people from India or Nepal, who had the potential to become
leaders or have influence in parliamentary, academic,
business, cultural or other fields, to visit New Zealand.