For the last 16 years acclaimed Chef Emma McCaskill’s has forged a ugely successful international career at restaurants including Narisawa (Tokyo), Sat Bains (Nottingham), Tetsuya’s (Sydney), Ezard (Melbourne), Penfolds Magill Estate (Adelaide), The Pot by Emma McCaskill (Adelaide) and Sparkke at the Whitmore (Adelaide).
Born and raised in South Australia, Emma moved to Melbourne in 2005 to commence and complete her apprenticeship under renowned chef Teage Ezard at the two-hatted Ezard Restaurant. In 2009 she relocating to New South Wales to take on the role of Chef de Partie at Tetsuya’s in Sydney. During this time, Tetsuya’s was awarded 3 Chefs Hats and ranked number 9 on the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best restaurants list. Whilst at Tetsuya’s, Emma was also named the state’s top 5 finalist in the 2010 Electrolux Young Chef of the Year competition.
In 2011 Emma took on the role of Development Chef for two- Michelin-starred Sat Bains, working closely with Sat on the highly innovative and constantly changing menus. Emma then travelled to Japan and worked alongside Yoshihiro Narisawa in the kitchen at Narisawa, where she was the first non-Japanese chef ever to be appointed. Narisawa is a highly regarded two- Michelin-starred restaurant that ranked number 1 “Best Restaurant in Asia” (San Pellegrino) and ranked number 20 on “World’s 50 Best” restaurants list (2013).
In July 2014 Emma became Co-Executive Chef at Penfold’s Magill Estate. During her tenure she was named Gourmet Travellers Best New Talent (2014) and joint Advertiser Chef of the Year (2016). The restaurant was also awarded Restaurant of the Year at the National Restaurant and Catering Awards(2016) and featured on Gourmet Traveler’s Top 20 Restaurant list (2014, 2015 and 2016) and The Australian’s Hottest 50 Restaurants (2014, 2015 and 2016).
The Pot by Emma McCaskill was Emma’s first solo venture, which was recognised and awarded one star in Gourmet Traveller and one hat in The Advertiser, The Australian and The Australian Good Food Guide. In 2019 Emma joined Sparkke at the Whitmore and is the same year was awarded Best New Restaurant in the Delicious Hottest 100.
“Over the years, my food philosophy has evolved into a personal style that celebrates cooking in Australia, while drawing on my Anglo-Indian family heritage and extensive experiences through Asia and Europe.
“My aim is to create original, deliciously crafted food with a big focus on clean, balanced flavours. I want people to relate to what they’re eating, to have fun and feel a sense of warmth and honesty from the experience. I am very passionate about sourcing high quality and handpicked local produce, in particular working closely with farmers, who are all an integral part of my community”, says Emma.
In 2020 Emma co-founded Chefs On Wheels with Paul Baker (ex Botanic Gardens Restaurant) and Terry Intarakhamhaeng (Soi 38). Chefs on Wheels is a new at-home dining meal delivery service featuring dishes from South Australia’s top chefs, including Simon Bryant and Karena Armstrong (The Salopian Inn).
She was also recognised by InDaily as one South Australia’s Top 40 Leaders Under 40, a prestigious list celebrating the states leading entrepreneurs, innovators and future business leaders under the age of 40.