07 Nov 2023
Growing up as part of a prominent Adelaide Hills market gardening family, Kane had an early appreciation for brisk air and sustainability. The other half of his childhood was spent in the small coastal town of Beachport where fishing, crabbing and working in local kitchens helped develop his connection between produce, place and how it can translate once served. 
Today, Kane is the executive chef of Topiary restaurant in Adelaide’s north-east and PLACE Dining, and is renowned for his sustainable use of unique produce and traditional methods. He joins the Tasting Australia creative team in 2024 as our new food curator.
Get to know more about Kane in our Q&A.

Tell us three things about yourself.

I started working in the family market garden at age eight, and still love getting stuck into gardening with family now. I’m a big fan of live music. I've been hooked ever since visiting my first Big Day Out in 2003. Cooking in random places gives me a buzz. Give me a hibachi grill, send me anywhere and I’ll be happy! 

What is your signature dish to make?

My 'Fallen Leaves' dessert, which featured in Town Square Kitchen a few years ago. Inspired by the shape of a coastal succulent, thin slices of apple or persimmon (depending on the season) are folded to encase a sweetened cream cheese dome with a sorbet center. Finished with warm crumble made from Riverland almonds. 

What is your most memorable meal?

After cockling on Goolwa beach, my father-in-law Pelly and I cooked up a pipi pasta for the family overlooking the nearby Horseshoe Bay coastline. It started raining, but the moment was so special and the food (and wine!) was so delicious that nobody moved until we'd finished.

And your favourite food memory?

Foraging for blackberries with my little brother along the creek when we lived just outside of Uraidla in the Adelaide Hills.

An unexpected ingredient you love to use when cooking?

I have a 'waste spice' cabinet both at home and at the restaurant that consists of de-hydrated roots, peels, pulps, cores and wild harvested seeds. Smoked tomato pulp powder is one of my favorite flavor boosters. 

What makes South Australian produce so special?

The unique microclimates throughout the state offer pristine conditions for a wide range of beautiful produce. Our producers work closely with their environment to bring us some of the best fruits, vegetables, seafood and more throughout the entire year.

What do you love most about Tasting Australia?

The sense of connection it brings. Town Square in Tarntanyangga / Victoria Square becomes the beating heart of South Australia, and regional events push us to explore beyond. Lifelong connections are made with likeminded, passionate producers, artisans' chefs and more.

Can you give us a taste of what's to come in next year's program?

We're digging a little deeper into the many influences that play a part in Australia's unique dining scene, the immersive experiences are building and our producers across both food and beverage will be at the forefront.