The Marlborough-based chef met local food producers and sampled some of the region's food during his first visit to the Gisborne Farmers' Market on Saturday.
"I want to highlight what is good and tasty about Gisborne. I have been saving up an appetite for it. Fresh food grown here, sold directly from the producer, were the main ingredients of the Farmers' Market", he said.
"My key role is to help farmers' markets grow and to actively promote regional food products. I'm lucky, I get to taste my way around New Zealand. More and more, the question is being asked, 'what are we eating?' With the farmers' markets, you know where the food comes from and you can meet the producers face to face."
"It's about supporting all Farmers' Markets around New Zealand, have a taste of what's on offer, network, share information and help them to grow and diversify."
Celebrating regional diversification in New Zealand was an important element of Farmers' Markets, said Fortune.
"When you go to Europe you celebrate mushrooms, pasta and tomatoes. In New Zealand, what we're developing is a culture of food and what we're good at."
"Gisborne is world-renowned for citrus and is also becoming well known for other pip fruit and produce.
"Gisborne is also very rich in culture. There are a lot of iwi here and that's something you want to bring out and put in front of people because overseas, New Zealand is highly regarded for what it does. One of the main reasons behind the success of Farmers' Market is that you have the consumer wanting to buy directly from producers."
Farmers' markets have grown from 12 to 50 since starting in 2006