Norka Mella Munoz


Mangapapa Hotel’s Head Chef, Norka Mella Munoz has started a revolution with the Mangapapa Restaurant. The first female Head Chef in Mangapapa history. Chef Norka is Chilean, and has been living in New Zealand for fourteen years.  She has worked all over the world, starting with six years of work for five star hotels in Chile; where she won various gold culinary awards working for hotels such as the Intercontinental, the Explora Las Torres and the Explora Patagonia. Following her arrival in New Zealand, Chef Norka continued working for various hotels but her main passion was her work as a tutor in Auckland sharing her knowledge with new talented chefs. Then came a move to Hawke’s Bay where Chef Norka again was tutoring new chefs until she came across a role at Mangapapa that was perfect for her.

Chef Norka calls herself  ‘Chiwi’ and her cuisine reflects  that, with a fusion of ‘kiwi’ local produce and her Chilean flair on the new restaurant menus.“Food for me is a celebration and always has a connection to family, sharing and partying. So I create menus with those things in mind. Food creates special connections to moments in your life and eating that particular food again will remind you of that moment. For example my grandma’s chocolate layer cake, it is a special family recipe for me and I shared it recently on our High Tea menu so our guests could share the same joy I get from the recipe” Chef Norka.

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