After finishing his apprenticeship at Tetsuya’s, Luke traveled to Europe before returning to Australia to embark on a career in freelance food and travel photography. In 2006 Luke and his partner took the plunge and moved to Tasmania in search of a culinary adventure, and soon after opened Pecora Café, located about 45 minutes south of Hobart.
Little did Luke now that this would mark the beginning of an exciting culinary journey that involved working with local fishermen, small growers and other artisan producers in the state and region. A couple of years later, inspired by a stint at Copenhagen’s Noma in 2010, Luke and business partners Katrina Birchmeier and Kirk Richardson opened Garagistes in Hobart.
Luke wanted to create a casual communal environment that specialized in natural wines and produce sourced from Tasmania. Garagistes quickly hit a nerve with the public and the industry, rapidly earning accolades. In 2011, Luke won best new Talent in the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant awards, scored two stars in the Gourmet Traveller restaurant guide and Garagistes was nominated 17 in the top 100 restaurants nationally.
In 2012 an offshoot of Garagistes called Sidecar was opened. Luke was also a board member of SPROUT, a not for profit organisation that aims to mentor and encourage a new generation of farmers and growers and help give Tasmanian producers a wider audience.
In 2014 Luke and his business partners decided to close Garagistes in 2015 (whilst still on a high) to pursue other ventures. Since closing Garagistes Luke has cooked in 8 different countries in collaboration with industry colleagues and hosts, run 10 William St in Sydney for 5 months and started a company that specialises in consulting to new and small hospitality businesses with little or minimal exposure to the industry.
Luke’s plans for the future include a farm based business that facilitates a division between kitchen and gardening tasks whilst exploring what can grown in Southern Australia.