Few chefs in Australia have a resume that reads like Emma McCaskill’s. In a career spanning over 15 years, Emma has carved out an impressive background and reputation, with experience that includes the likes of Narisawa (Tokyo), Sat Bains (Nottingham, England), Tetsuya’s (Sydney), Ezard (Melbourne), Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant (Adelaide), The Pot By Emma McCaskill (Adelaide) and now Sparkke at the Whitmore (Adelaide).
Emma’s menu at The Sparkke at the Whitmore is designed to share with an emphasis on her Indian heritage and beautifully crafted food with clean and balanced flavours. The menus changes frequently to reflect seasonality. In just a few short months since opening, Emma has been awarded ‘Best New Restaurant’ (in South Australia’s Delicious Hottest 100).
The Pot by Emma McCaskill offered a great exhibit of one of South Australia’s best dining experiences. During this period, The Pot By Emma McCaskill was recognized and awarded in Gourmet Traveller (one star), The Advertiser, The Australian and The Australian Good Food Guide (one hat).
During her time as Co-Executive Chef at Magill Estate Restaurant, the venue – amongst many other accolades – was awarded Restaurant of the Year 2016 (National Restaurant and Catering Awards), made the Top 20 Restaurant List in Gourmet Traveller (three years in a row), and was included in the Hottest 50 Restaurants for The Australian (also for three years in a row).
Emma was named as one of the Chefs of the Year (2016, The Advertiser) and Best New Talent (2014, Gourmet Traveller). Prior to Magill Estate, Emma worked as the first international female chef to ever be appointed at Narisawa in Tokyo. This two Michelin-starred restaurant is ranked number 6 in 'Asia’s 50 Best’ 2017 (San Pellegrino) and number 18 in the 2017 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
In 2011, Emma’s role as Development Chef for two Michelin star restaurant Sat Bains, allowed her to work closely with Sat and focus on highly innovative and constantly changing menus using high quality local ingredients.
At the age of 18, Emma commenced and completed her apprenticeship under chef, Teage Ezard at the two-hatted Ezard Restaurant, before relocating to New South Wales in 2009 to take on the role of Chef de Partie at Tetsuya's Restaurant in Sydney. During this time, Tetsuya’s was awarded three chef’s hats and ranked number 9 on the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Emma’s philosophy is “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, have fun and feel a sense of warmth and honesty. Over the years, my food philosophy has evolved into a personal style that celebrates cooking in Australia, along with my travels and experiences. Fortunately, I was brought up experiencing multiple cuisine traditions from around the world, which has honed a strong influence on who I have become as a chef. 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 a restaurants community.”