Hospitality recruitment in the current climate is difficult at best. To be able to attract a chef team with world class credentials is a dream. But that is what’s happened at the Waikawa Boating Club in the Marlborough Sounds.

Sandra Wareham has taken over the kitchen at the Waikawa club. The restaurant has been re-named  Bernie’s on the Wharf.

Sandra’s partner Stephen will be part of her team and they’re quite clear that Sandra is the lead in this kitchen.

 Sandra qualified as a chef in 1996 and worked at the Naval & Military Club on St James Square, London. In what was a private club for gentleman of the British Armed Services, Sandra became the first female chef allowed into the kitchen in the club’s 400-year history.

Sandra became a sous chef for Chelsea Football Club where she catered for players and management in corporate boxes. She then became head chef  at GE Finance. At BT Leavesden she employed Stephen into her kitchen; then went on to marry him and have five kids together.

Sandra’s  most impressive place to work was  Roux on Riverside. Gordon Ramsay is also graduate of the Roux kitchen.


The name Bernie’s on the Wharf comes from Sandra’s long-standing nickname, having been a Burnham before marrying Stephen.

The Waikawa Boating Club is open to members and their guests and to any member of a Clubs of New Zealand affiliated club.