– About Us –


A Perfect Partnership

Whether you require a private chef and host, business lunch, grand wedding or a canapé/cocktail party, allow our expert event management & catering team create a unique, stylish & memorable dining experience and event for you! Founding partners, Brendan and Jo Downer are both driven by a passion for great food and fine wines. They draw on over 35 years combined international experience in the hospitality industry to prepare and serve delicious, creative cuisine with passion and flair.

Chef Brendan

English born Chef Brendan’s passion for food and a 28 year culinary journey began as a 14 year old in a local seafood restaurant. After completion of his professional chefs training he worked in the inspiring world of London 5 Star Hotels, then catering as a private chef for rock stars, celebrities and royalty.  The desire to extend his culinary and cultural horizons took him to Australia, New Zealand and Canada working in luxury ski lodges and fine dining restaurants, including the role of Executive Chef at the award winning Araxi Restaurant, Whistler.  As a solo chef aboard luxury Perini superyachts he sailed the world utilising local exotic ingredients in; Southeast Asia, Australasia, the Mediterranean, Caribbean, USA and Canada.  Chef Brendan managed Yemanja Villa alongside his wife Jo, on the exclusive Caribbean island of Mustique before returning to New Zealand to become Executive Chef at  Blanket Bay Lodge.  Chef Brendan’s passion is to create honest, beautiful cuisine and is inspired by the freshest Fiordland seafood, wild game, organic produce, handcrafted cheeses and boutique wines available in Queenstown and Central Otago.

 Jo Downer

Jo leads the front of house team at Chef Brendan Catering, as well as organising all aspects of event management.  She has comprehensive experience in the hospitality and luxury superyacht industry which enabled her to travel the world, gaining invaluable experience with discerning international guests.  Jo has worked extensively with destination management companies in Queenstown & Auckland, New Zealand (ID Tours) and in Whistler & Vancouver, Canada (Cantrav West & Entree Canada), taking care of the planning, logistics & on-site management of Incentive Groups, Corporate Conventions and Private Concierge Services from 2 to 700 guests. Jo is passionate about Queenstown and all it has to offer, she loves organising and orchestrating perfect events, whatever the occasion!