Chef Nick Honeyman is living his ambition to chase the sun cooking in summer restaurants around the world. The celebrated chef has announced he is moving to France for two months to cook at and manage Le Petit Leon, a small provincial restaurant in a region that he says is “like the Mecca of food”.

The South African-born chef is a seasoned traveller and has previously worked as head chef at Le Petit Leon in summers from 2004 to 2007. This year he returns in July and August for the first time running the entire restaurant with complete control over the menus, kitchen and staff.

Le Petit Leon is open for only two months a year and is located in a small farming village called Saint Leon sur Vezere in the Dordogne region south western France.

Honeyman, an unfailing advocate of both New Zealand foods and local fresh produce will draw inspiration from the local markets when planning the restaurant’s menu.

“The restaurant focus will be on farmhouse and simplicity. It’s a classic old school French bistro but I will definitely be featuring some of my Kiwi favourites such as Ōra King salmon, lamb and venison.

“Plus I want to work with the local fresh produce such as black truffles, fois gras, honey and walnuts. And the local cognac is world renowned. It will be a step change from the menus I usually create.”

To help with the menu Honeyman is taking three New Zealand chefs and Masterchef 2014 winners Karena and Kasey Bird are going to do a three week stint at Le Petit Leon.

Ōra King general manager of marketing Jemma McCowan says the opportunity to work with Honeyman in France could not be ignored.

About Ōra King

Ōra King salmon is a best-of-breed king salmon developed specifically for the food service industry. Ōra King is a result of a commitment to quality founded on a classic breeding programme born in the top of New Zealand’s South Island two decades ago. All of the company’s husbandry and breeding, everything which Ōra King represents, is dedicated to the professional chef. It is the best of the best. Ōra King is to salmon as Wagyu is to beef.

Issued for Ōra King by Pead PR


Jane Torrance, Pead PR, P: 09-918 5534, M: 021 393 157, E: