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Chinese superstar chef films in North Island regions

Chinese superstar chef Nicholas Tse (谢霆锋) has visited New Zealand this month to film his popular gourmet reality show, Chef Nic, with the support of Tourism New Zealand.

Pictured: Nicholas Tse tries kina - a local delicacy - during his visit to New Zealand this month. (Source: Chef Nic)

Chef Nic has received more than 1.04 billion hits on Chinese websites iQiyi.com and Tencent.com since 2014. The episode is expected to have an estimated advertising value of $20 million.

The episode focuses on the gourmet delights and local culture of the Hawke’s Bay and Taupō regions, and is the only episode to be filmed in the Southern Hemisphere this season.

Nicholas Tse starred in the episode with celebrity friend GEM (Gloria Tang) who in 2016 became the only Asian artist to feature in the Forbes 30 Under 30 (Music).

Pictured: GEM shared this kina picture with her 23 million Weibo fans while in New Zealand.

“Chef Nic is hugely popular in China, so we are very privileged to have New Zealand showcased by such a successful and influential individual,” says Tourism New Zealand General Manager Asia, Gregg Wafelbakker.

“China is New Zealand’s second largest international visitor market, with around 400,000 visitors contributing more than $1.5 billion to the New Zealand economy each year.

“Around 33 percent of all Chinese visitors to New Zealand are now travelling as Free Independent Travellers (FIT), up from around 27 percent in 2016. These travellers are increasingly seeking fresh, new experiences like those Chef Nic experiences in the regions in this episode.”

Tourism New Zealand is focused on achieving greater visitor numbers to our regions to alleviate the pressure on traditional tourism hotspots and share the benefits of tourism with less-visited regions such as Hawke’s Bay and Taupō.

Prior to his success as a chef, Nicholas Tse was also famed as an actor, singer, songwriter, musician, and entrepreneur.

Nicholas was enthusiastic about his visit to New Zealand: “This is my first time to New Zealand. It’s like a wonderland. I’ve encountered many pleasant surprises in Hawke’s Bay and Taupō. It has pure natural scenery as well as fresh and various ingredients. And the nice local people are the best.”

The episode also features New Zealand celebrity chef Al Brown, who goes head-to-head with Chef Nic in a BBQ cook-off.

Tourism New Zealand has a long and successful history of working with celebrities to achieve greater cut through of its message including Sidharth Malhotra in India, Huang Lei in China and most recently, Bryce Dallas-Howard out of the USA.