Well-known Southland chef Graham Hawkes has been inducted into the New Zealand Hospitality Hall of Fame on the eve of his retirement – in recognition of his talent, passion and dedication to the industry throughout his career. He says the honour made him feel “humbly proud”.
He and wife Glenise announced recently that they had sold their Invercargill restaurant Paddington Arms and it would close in December. They have operated hospitality businesses in the city since their first tea kiosk Orchid Cafe in Queens Park in 1990. They opened Paddington Arms in 1992 as Invercargill’s original English Gastro-pub.
Other career highlights include being the first Kiwi-born and trained chef to represent New Zealand in the Culinary Olympics in 1984 where he served as Chef de Mission, judging and overseeing the Culinary Olympic judges.
He is passionate about training young chefs and will continue his work with Southland Boys’ High School’s pathways programme. He will also continue as a strong industry voice as the Southland brand president for Hospitality New Zealand, and promoting Southland through the Savour the South campaign.
“Having knowledge is a good thing, but you’ve got to share it. I’m not retiring from the industry.”
Hawkes also said he wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without the support of his wife and children. Glenise Hawkes fells into hospitality when she married Hawkes and said for her the life had been “all about the people”.
After a difficult two years in the industry, they are now looking forward to relaxing together and spending time with their eight grandchildren.