Our Story

Head Chef / Owner

After qualifying as a Chef, Shelley initially worked for Ruth Pretty who is a very well-known and respected Chef in New Zealand and whom Shelley believes is where her love of high quality, tasty food came from. Ruth’s inspiration led her to teach classes at the Ruth Pretty Cooking School and later set up her own cooking school.

Shelley’s love of fine food and excellent service led her to leave her home country and take up the role of Chef to the New Zealand Ambassador in Belgium, where she promoted the best New Zealand produce through preparing cocktail parties, lunches and dinners for diplomats and corporate clients, as well as the Ambassador. The position also included preparing large scale gala dinners, an eclectic mix of conferences, as well as exclusive private dining events for the Ambassador.

Shelley has also spent time working for venues in various parts of Europe where she explored recipe development with a particular focus on New Zealand meat products and desserts. Kauri Catering was first born when she took her infectious love of cooking further and set up a catering company and cooking school in Brussels, catering to European diplomats, corporate clients and wedding couples, whilst spreading the word of great NZ hospitality and fabulous fresh food.

She brings an extensive culinary background to her team, and has worked in different style venues all over the world, serving food for the likes of HRH Prince Charles, The European Commission, Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings Director) and the New Zealand Prime Minister. After getting married, Shelley took a break to have children and spent a number of years in Asia. She has since moved to the UK where she now lives in Heaton Moor with her husband and three daughters. 

Kauri – Pronounced ‘Cow-Ree’

The kauri tree, is New Zealand’s largest and most famous native tree. The kauri hardwood forests are among the most ancient in the world with the oldest tree estimated to be 2,000 years old.