NEW ZEALAND — A New Zealand-born New Zealander who made a million-dollar profit from a cooking show has made his first major meal of the year.
The 34-year-old, who lives in Hamilton, made the $3,300 dinner at his home, at his father’s request, to celebrate his victory in the National Chef’s Contest.
His father, Johnnys Seafood Bake, was also a judge for the show.
“It’s the best part of the show,” he said.
“You know, he’s like the big boss, he doesn’t take himself too seriously.”
Johnnys, who was born in Wellington and grew up in the New Zealand capital, said he was grateful for his family’s support.
“We all have a dream and we can’t control what happens to us, but that’s what’s special about this job.
It’s just a dream come true,” he added.
Johnnies Seafood was a winner of the national contest, with the second-biggest winner making a $4,000.
He won a second time, in New Zealand, making a third-bigger haul.
His father said the win had given Johnnies a “sense of pride” and that he was now more “happy than I’ve been for a long time.”
“It was a great moment for my son, because he knows now he’s got a chance to achieve something big, he can win big, and win for the country,” he told reporters.
“I just hope he can come back with the same energy he had that day, and he can achieve a million dollars.”
The New Zealand native won the national competition with a $2.4 million haul, making the second highest payout of all time.
Johnns Seafood’s win is only the second of his career and the first since the show started in 2000.
His $3 million win comes as the winner of a $1.5 million contest in 2015.
The show is now in its fifth season and is held in a New Zealand hotel.
Johns Seafood says it will be filming its final episode next week.
For more information, visit johnnysseafowl.com