Tasting Australia Festival Director
Raw, vibrant and real. Simon Bryant is a chef who believes in ethically sourced, premium local and fresh produce being king of the kitchen.
The former executive chef of Hilton Adelaide and protégé of The Grange legend Cheong Liew, Simon has worked in kitchens around the country, and the world, for more than two decades. He started in Thai and Indian kitchens in Melbourne, and both cuisines remain sentimental favourites. Simon often works with the explosive but balanced flavours of both cooking styles, and his love of Asian cuisine drove him to explore Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and China before settling in Adelaide.
Here he pursued a position in Cheong’s esteemed kitchen at The Grange Restaurant, eventually earning his stripes as Chef De Partie in the meat section where he was able to observe and absorb Cheong’s classic French technique and fusion flavours.
Simon found widespread Australian public support as a television presenter alongside the esteemed Maggie Beer for 150 episodes of ABC TV’s The Cook and The Chef.
He remains a highly-respected industry leader who is a passionate about using menus to cast light on ethical issues surrounding food. Whether it be fair prices for producers delivering more thoughtfully produced food; using best practice ingredients with minimal environmental impact; the responsible and culturally appropriate use of Australian native foods; or the ethical treatment of animals in the food chain. But above all Simon is a hands-on cook of simple, pared-down, produce-driven, honest cooking that tastes better than just a bunch of words on a menu.
Among his philanthropic work are ambassadorial roles with the Animals Asia Foundation, RSPCA Choose Wisely Campaign, SA Government via Primary Industries and Resources SA, Oxfam GROW and FAIR plus many more.
Simon was named Adelaide Food Legend in 2014 at The Advertiser’s Food Awards and was awarded Chef of the Year in 2008 by the Restaurant and Catering Association (SA).