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Originally from the south coast of the Indonesian province of Central Java, Mr Kurniawan began his professional career at Nikko Hotel in Bali before moving to Jakarta and working for the Shangri La Hotel.
In 2005 he moved to Wellington, where he worked for the Intercontinental Wellington, and after a stint at Shed 5 and the Bangalore Polo Club moved south to Queenstown, joining Crowne Plaza last year.
He was ''really excited to be taking the helm'' and incorporating his Indonesian flair into the locally inspired menu, Mr Kurniawan said.
''I'm excited to put my own personal twist on things.''
Crowne Plaza Queenstown general manager Reinier Eulink said Mr Kurniawan's appointment was testimony to ''his hard work, dedication and exceptional skills in the kitchen''.