TASTING AUSTRALIA FOOD CURATOR

For the last 17 years, acclaimed Chef Emma McCaskill’s has forged a hugely 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, Emma relocated to Sydney to commence a role as Chef de partie at Tetsuya’s restaurant. During this time, Tetsuya’s was awarded 3 Chefs Hats and ranked number 9 on the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

In 2011, Emma took on the role of Development Chef for the 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 female chef ever to be appointed. Narisawa is a highly regarded two-Michelin-starred restaurant that ranked number 1 on San Pellegrino’s Best Restaurant in Asia and ranked number 20 on the 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 Traveller’s 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 Traveller’s Top 20 Restaurant list (2014, 2015 and 2016) and The Australian’s Hottest 50 Restaurants (2014, 2015 and 2016).

In 2017, 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 in 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 hertitage and extensive experiences through Asia and Europe.

My aim is to create deliciously crafted food with a big focus on clean, balanced flavours. I want people to relate to what they are 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 particularly working closely with farmers who are all an integral part of my community”, says Emma.

In 2020, Emma was recognised in InDaily’s annual “40 under 40 Awards”, which honour the leading entrepreneurs, innovators and future business leaders in South Australia under the age of 40. This same year, Emma commenced a career in education, fulfilling her passion for sharing her knowledge of cookery to the next generation. She is currently working as a Business Development Consultant with Adelaide Institute of Hospitality in the SACE sector, mentoring students in schools who choose to become a chef as their career path.