Focus on local food endorsed

<b>CNZM <br> Fleur De Lyse Ross Sullivan, Moeraki <br> Services to the food industry </b>
<b>CNZM <br> Fleur De Lyse Ross Sullivan, Moeraki <br> Services to the food industry </b>
 A restaurateur credited with putting the tiny township of Moeraki on the culinary map has been recognised by Buckingham Palace in the New Year 2013 Royal Honours list.After a career in the food business spanning 30 years, Fleur Sullivan, who operates Fleur's Place restaurant in Moeraki and the Loan and Merc restaurant in Oamaru, was named as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to the food industry.

Ms Sullivan, who established the award-winning Fleur's Place seafood restaurant in 2003, after previously running Oliver's restaurant in Central Otago for 20 years, said it was ''really nice'' to be recognised.

However, she added that although she had been awarded an ONZM in 1999, she did not expect to be given another award.

''At first, when I saw the letter, I thought that I had been invited to Charles' and Camilla's birthday party.''

Although Fleur's Place was named by Cuisine magazine as one of the ''100 best things about New Zealand'' in 2010, she said her abiding principle as a restaurant owner had always been to promote local produce, whether in North or Central Otago.

''Food is part of our identity and cultural heritage and the aim to keep the connection between the food we eat and the land [and] ocean it comes from preserves, supports and promotes a sustainable system.

''So it is great to be recognised at the grass-roots level for my contribution to this industry.''

Ms Sullivan is also a member of the New Zealand Restaurant Association's Hall of Fame.

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