Neil Sapitula


Neil began his culinary career in Phillippines working as a dishy at The Goose Station at the time considered a top 20 restaurant in the Phillippines. While working as a dishy he was studying to become a chef at International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management.

By 2010 Neil had completed his studies and started gaining experience across Asia as a chef. Through this time he worked at notable restaurants including; Locavore in Indonesia (#14 in Asia), Vask in Phillippines (#35 in Asia), Serge at Le Phoque in Hong Kong (1 Michelin Star), Mume in Thaiwan (2 Michelin Star).

Before coming to New Zealand Neil did one final stint in Phillippines working as Head Chef at Pig and Palm owned by Jason Atherton, considered one of the best chefs in the world.

Neil arrived in New Zealand in 2019 and took up a role as Sous Chef at Cocoroa in Auckland before moving to Nanam as Sous Chef.

In 2021 Neil took up the position of Head Chef at Solera in Mount Maunganui where he is now Executive Chef, also running the kitchen at Saltwater Seafood Grill and Oyster Bar.

In 2022 at the Bay Hospitality Awards Neil won Bay Of Plenty’s Best Chef, while Solera won Best Restaurant and Best New Restaurant.

At the 2023 Cuisine Good Food Awards Neil won the prestigious award Rising Talent (one to watch), while Solera was also awarded 1 hat.

Menu– Sharing Style

Canape- ‘Fish and Chips’- raw kingfish, potato pave

Course 1- Lamb Tataki- galbi sauce, fried leek, onion

Course 2- Roasted Cabbage- laksa, fried oyster mushroom

Course 3- BBQ Shortribs, peanut glaze, chipotle emulsion

Course 5- Smoked Custard Tart- pandan, coconut sorbet

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