top of page

Meet the chefs

Lavalla Dessert-199.jpg

David van Staden

Co-Owner of LaValla Events in little old Tuakau New Zealand, has an extraordinary history for anyone who chooses do a little research. Little thought is given to the fact he catered for Nelson Mandela’s first official gala event, that he designed and prepared the dessert for Nelson Mandela’s inaugural dinner, that he was given the honour of the same for Mandela’s funeral.  He does not dwell on his early career title of International Pastry Chef when he serves his signature chocolate mousse, or that a quick Google will find him fronting South Africas “The Food Network” programme Chopped as a celebrity judge. 

Lavalla Dessert-142_edited.jpg
Kimi.PNG

Luke Gurnick

This man has serious Swag, the coolest cook you will ever meet, ask him anything and you will get a... "My Bro".. thrown in there somewhere.

When asked to 'tell us a little about yourself' he said 'Oh my bro, there's nothing to tell'

We are sure this isn't true but you but here is what we know about the man himself...

He is a South Auckland boy (Manurewa) born and bred. A Dilworth-educated boy who tells me he's always had a love for food and was also "not bad" at basketball (insert eye roll as he was actually NBL level 'ok')  He has worked in a kitchen for around 10 years and has been with us at LaValla for 6ish years.

Kim Katipa

Silent but effective, Kim gets it done ALL THE TIME, Our 'Kimi' is a local born and raised in Mercer and so we are told 'runs the town' started her kitchen duties in the Marae helping out with dishes and whatever jobs needed to be done and is our final musketeer in the LaValla kitchen and has been with us for 5 years. She is another humble, beautiful soul who in her free time enjoys socializing, playing music on her guitar, and 'eating food' she says with a big smile on her. Her passions in the kitchen are baking bread making, and desserts.

D14

D14

D15

D15

D13

D13

D9

D9

D7

D7

D5

D5

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
bottom of page