Behind the Scenes of Single Sites Dinner

1999 - 2012 Festival Stars

Acclaimed international and national alumni stars

An Adelaide food icon.

Andre rose to fame in the first series of MasterChef Australia. He has since become a restaurateur and Adelaide food icon.

Following MasterChef Andre launched his own restaurant, Andre’s Cucina and Polenta Bar, in the Adelaide CBD. The restaurant’s menu pays homage to his Northern Italian heritage.

Andre now splits his time between media appearances, cooking demonstrations, his popular Adelaide eatery and his range of Italian sauces.

Andre Ursini was a guest of Tasting Australia 2014.

A direct descendant of the founding family of Cointreau Liqueur.

André J. Cointreau is the president and CEO of l’Ecole de Cuisine et de Pâtisserie Le Cordon Bleu, better known as Le Cordon Bleu.

A direct descendant of the founding family of Cointreau Liqueur and Remy Martin Cognac, André left the family business and bought Le Cordon Bleu from its director Elizabeth Brassart, a long-time family friend.

Since buying Le Cordon Bleu in 1984, André has shifted the business from one school in Paris to a multinational hospitality education institution with nearly 30 schools in 15 countries.

André represented Le Cordon Bleu as a Tasting Australia guest in 2003.

A champion of native Australian ingredients.

Andrew Fielke is an award-winning Adelaide chef and champion of native Australian ingredients.

Andrew has more than 34 years’ experience as a chef, including international stints in Switzerland, Austria and London. He has also worked as a TV presenter, hosting food and wine segments on the ABC and Foxtel.

In the 1990s Andrew founded Red Ochre restaurant, overlooking the River Torrens. The restaurant embodied his passion for creating dishes which incorporate overlooked native Australian ingredients.

Andrew Fielke was a guest of Tasting Australia 2010 and 2014.

Combining business and communications prowess with a passion.

Ange Barry is the CEO of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.

Prior to her role with the foundation she managed community organisations, worked in corporate roles in regional management in the financial sector and ran her own business. Through these roles Ange gained experience in both media and children’s services.

Ange joined the foundation with a directive to expand the reach of the program outside of the initial three school communities. The program is now incorporated into the curriculum of 456 schools across Australia.

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation has given Ange the opportunity to combine her business and communications prowess with a passion.

Keeping recipes simple and letting the produce speak for itself.

Ben Sommariva is the head chef of The Kitchen Door at Penny’s Hill.

Ben grew up in an Italian family and was enticed into cooking from a young age by his grandmother.

Ben started his cooking apprenticeship in Adelaide in 1987. Since then he has worked in high-end restaurants across Australia.

Ben’s food philosophy is to keep recipes simple and let the produce speak for itself. The thing he enjoys most about working on the Fleurieu Peninsula is the great produce and wine that is readily available in the region.

Ben Sommariva was a guest of Tasting Australia 2014.

A woman of firsts.

Bethany Finn is an Australian chef with an enviable career in the hospitality industry. She rose to local fame for her work at Urban Bistro.

Bethany was the first Australian-born female to be awarded the title of executive chef and was the first woman to be promoted to executive chef in the international Hilton Hotel organisation.

During her time at Urban Bistro Bethany appeared on the Lifestyle Channel’s program Signature Dish, where she taught television audiences to re-create the restaurant’s popular snapper cakes.

Outside of her success in the kitchen, Bethany has also worked as a senior judge for industry events and contributes to the food section of The Weekend Australian.

Bethany Finn was a guest of Tasting Australia 2014.

Sharing her love of exotic flavours.


Christine Manfield is one of Australia's most celebrated chefs and leading culinary ambassadors.

Inspired by her global travels, a love of spices, and her curious and innovative culinary nature, she has contributed to the world's culinary scene with three highly acclaimed restaurants in Sydney and London.

Christine has expanded her gastronomic career as not only chef and restauranteur but author, traveller, host, food manufacturer, presenter and teacher.

She shared her love of exotic flavours as a Tasting Australia guest in 1999 and 2001.

Introducing dukkah to Australian tables.

Equal parts story-teller and chef, food writer Claudia Roden has lovingly shared her deep connection to Middle Eastern cuisine with the English-speaking world through her many books.

Claudia herself can be thanked for introducing dukkah, that mixture of roasted nuts, herbs and spices accompanying bread and olive oil, to Australian tables.

Determined to preserve her heritage, Roden has crafted her Egyptian approach to Jewish food in numerous books and served as a foreign food correspondent where she found her love for Italian cuisine.

Rocking the woks.

As one of the most celebrated Australian chefs on the international scene, David Thompson has spent most of the past 15 years opening restaurants from London to Bangkok.

David rocks the woks, translating Thai flavours to score the top spot in Asia's 50 Best Restaurants with Nahm, his prestigious eatery in Bangkok, while also winning Michelin stars at Nahm London.

David Thompson's Thai cookbooks have made their way to kitchens around the globe and explore the nation's iconic dishes and street food. Thompson's latest restaurant, Long Chim, has branches in Singapore, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

That famous shade of blue.

Donna Hay is Australia's leading food editor and a best-selling cookbook author.

She's known for inspiring home cooks, and for the shade of blue that colours her cookbooks, crockery and cake packets.

Since the age of 19 Donna has felt at home writing for the kitchen. Under her apron she has 26 cookbooks, selling more than six million copies internationally, plus five years as food editor of Marie Claire, a role as food editor of leading newspapers, her own TV show and a homewares range.

Donna recently celebrated 15 years of her own magazine publication.

She first brought her styling talent and focus on good food to Tasting Australia in 1999.

The creator of "culinary foam".

Beginning his career as a dishwasher in his home country of Spain, chef Ferran Adrià now holds a prominent place in culinary history and still has many more years ahead of him.

The prestigious Restaurant magazine named his restaurant, El Bulli, the best in the world, and with three Michelin stars chef Ferran is a gastronomic hero. Undoubtedly he is best known for creating "culinary foam", now used by chefs internationally, yet deconstruction is another of his inventions that has changed the face of gastronomy.

After closing El Bulli in 2011 Ferran's passion now sits firmly in teaching others to 'eat knowledge', be innovative and culinary creative through his El Bulli Foundation.

Ferran Adrià brought his culinary passion to Tasting Australia 1999.

Poet turned The Curious Cook.

Harold McGee is a food guru, culinary scientist, author and influential teacher.

Initially studying astronomy but finishing with a Ph.D. on romantic poetry, his transition into a food science writer came after several years as a literature and writing instructor at Yale University.

Deciding to practice what he'd been teaching, McGee first wrote On Food & Cooking: The Science & Lore of the Kitchen and found himself turning gastronomy upside down and inside out and studying what makes good food.

McGee now writes a regular column for the New York Times as The Curious Cook, teaches at The French Culinary Institute and is writing his next food science installment.

Harold McGee brought his culinary science to Tasting Australia 1999.

Passion for ethical and sustainable eating.


New Zealand-born Justin North scooped up awards as an apprentice, including the title of "Commis Chef of the Nation", in the 1993 Culinary Olympics, and the much-coveted New Zealand Apprentice Chef of the Year in 1994.

He worked throughout Europe and then relocated to Australia, where acclaim kept coming: Becasse, his restaurant in Sydney's Surry Hills, was named Best New Restaurant in 2002 and Best European Restaurant in Australia in 2004.

Relocated to Westfield Sydney, Becasse evolved into one of the city's premier dining spaces until it closed in 2012. Justin has been a guest on a number of television shows, has authored three award winning books, and remains a passionate advocate for ethical and sustainable eating.

Justin was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2007 and 2012

Queen of the moulds.

Kris Lloyd is manager and Head Cheesemaker of Woodside Cheese Wrights, a specialist cheesemaker of goat and cow cheeses, producing fresh, white mould and matured cheeses.

Woodside Cheese Wrights make cheeses to traditional methods for full flavour and character. Kris has also pioneered a range of seasonal cheeses to take advantage of seasonal variations in milk supply.

Kris was a guest of Tasting Australia 2007.

Serving up the new-age Chinese to Australian tables.

Kylie Kwong is an Australian television chef, author, television presenter and restaurateur.

Coming from the largest Chinese family in Australia's immigration history, Kwong grew up on fresh Cantonese food made from recipes passed down the generations.

Opening her own restaurant, Billy Kwong, after stints in some of Sydney's finest restaurants, Kylie takes inspiration from her Chinese heritage and serves up new-age techniques and dishes.

She is a passionate advocate of sustainable food, ethical eating, and using fresh native Australian produce in her menus.

Kylie was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2003.

Juggling hats.


Restaurateur, businessman, mentor, author, chef. Luke Mangan has many hats to his name and all share the common thread to source the finest local Australian ingredients and showcase them with a contemporary twist.

Luke owns and operates 21 restaurants across the world (five onboard P&O cruise liners), has written five best-selling cookbooks, launched his own range of gourmet products and organic baby food, plus makes regular TV appearances internationally.

Luke is a co-founder of Australia's Appetite for Excellence hospitality awards programs helping to nurture the careers of young chefs.

Luke Mangan was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2003.

Bringing the French to Australian cuisine.

With a great grandfather as a pastry chef, a grandfather and father as chefs, and a mother as a great cook Manu Feildel's DNA equipped him to become a great chef.

Manu apprenticed in his father's restaurant before moving to a fine dining restaurant and then to top French restaurants in the UK.

After relocating to Australia in 1999 Manu worked alongside several Australian chefs before a stint at Bilson's French restaurant as head chef. He appeared on television as a guest chef and became a household name in Australia, going on to open three of his own restaurants.

Sitting alongside Pete Evans, Manu Feildel co-hosts the long-running series My Kitchen Rules, and in 2011 won the 11th series of Dancing with the Stars.

Manu has published four books, starred in two of his own television series, and continues to inspire with his French cuisine.

Manu Feidel was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2010.

The man behind the HIX empire.


Widely acclaimed chef, restaurateur and food writer Mark Hix is known for his original take on British gastronomy.

Starting career as commis chef at The Hilton London, Mark moved restaurants and positions before becoming executive head chef at celebrity haunt Le Caprice.

Mark Hix spent nearly 18 years with Caprice Holdings, overseeing eight venues including the renowned The Ivy.

In 2008 Mark branched out and took up the challenge of opening his own HIX restaurant empire. Mark has authored more than 10 cookbooks reflecting his interest in traditional, local and sustainable produce. He also writes a regular column for newspapers and is a contributing editor to Esquire UK.

Mark Hix was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2012.

Celebrating fresh, seasonal, and contemporary cuisine.

Matt Moran is a well-known and celebrated chef, author, restaurateur and an event catering business owner in Sydney and Brisbane.

Beginning his career as a chef's apprentice at La Belle Helene, Matt has finessed his skill in French cuisine and it remains a foundation of his fresh, seasonal, and contemporary cooking today.

Matt's profile has been raised by regular appearances in TV shows such as MasterChef, My Restaurant Rules and his own award-winning TV show Paddock to Plate.

As well as contributing to newspapers and magazines globally, Matt is the author of four best-selling cookbooks.

Matt Moran was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2007 and 2012.

Challenging food waste and sustainability.

Matt Stone

Embracing the philosophies of preparing fresh, sustainable, locally-sourced and whole foods, Matt Stone is arguably the leading sustainable chef in the Australian food scene at present.

From Matt's first days in the kitchen he has championed the environmental message of zero-waste while showcasing locally sourced whole foods as the heroes. He now holds the reins at Oakridge Estate in the Yarra Valley in Victoria.

Stone co-stared in the food show Recipes that Rock with Blurr bass guitarist Alex James, has been a regular on MasterChef and hosted a sustainability challenge on the show.

Matt Stone championed food sustainability at Tasting Australia in 2012.

What's next for this culinary hero?

UK born chef Matthew Kemp has worked with and for some of the best in the business including London's The Square, a two-star Michelin restaurant, and the legendary Banc restaurant on his arrival in Australia.

Opening Restaurant Balzac in 2000, Matthew received walls of awards over his 11-year reign before expanding his portfolio and opening a range of widely acclaimed venues.
With awards under his belt, industry recognition, and successful businesses Kemp closed Restaurant Balzac and relaunched the business as The Montpellier Public House until it closed in 2012. He has since kept busy working with the Keystone group on concept designs and menus for various existing and new venues, as market curator at the Moore Park Produce Market (formally EQ), and executive chef at the Boilerhouse Restaurant at Manly's historic Q Station.

Recently Matthew packed up the family and headed north of Sydney in search of the unknown.

Matthew Kemp was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2012.

A name synonymous with Australian cuisine.

Neil Perry is an acclaimed and influential Australian chef, restaurateur, author, television presenter and consultant.

Neil co-owns and is executive chef of a number of Australian restaurants, among them Jade Temple and Rockpool Bar & Grill.

After beginning his career in floor management, Neil soon realised his passion was in the kitchen. Leaving Sails Restaurant to become head chef at Barrenjoey Restaurant, Palm Beach as well as Perry's in Paddington.

After opening Blue Water Grill with an overnight success, he then opened Rockpool and established it as one of Australia's finest restaurants with culinary awards being won internationally. Neil has opened a number of venues to make up the Rockpool Dining Group, which also includes Rockpool Events & Catering.

His restaurants are bound by a commitment to the finest sustainable produce, world-class service, a progressive approach to food and creating memorable experiences for their guests.

Neil has produced and presented a number of television series, is the author of nine cookbooks and is the co-ordinator for Qantas Flight Catering.

Neil Perry was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2001 and 2003.

A cook with an acclaimed Michelin star to his name.


Scottish chef Nick Nairn opened his first restaurant Braeval in 1986 and became the youngest Scottish chef to win a Michelin star despite his lack of formal cooking training.

Nairn found his love of cooking after teaching himself to replicate the street food he sampled while travelling the world in the Merchant Navy. Returning home to Scotland Nairn opened Braeval in Glasgow in 1997 to international acclaim, and then his own cooking school.

Nick Nairn become a household name from his regular appearances on Ready Steady Cook, Landward, and his own television series including Wild Harvest, Island Harvest, Nick Nairn and The Dinner Ladies, and most recently Paul & Nick's Big Food Trip.

In 2012, Nick set up The Menteith Group to help food providers, farmers, chefs and others to improve school meals and food education in Scotland.

Nick Nairn produces a successful food range of cereals, bread, biscuits, oatcakes, and small goods and is the author of ten cookery books.

Nick Nairn was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2003.

Dancing into the kitchen.


A talented choreographer, actor, television star and chef, Paul Mercurio is one of Australia's favourite personalities.

Paul first got attention playing the lead role in Strictly Ballroom and then went on to numerous US and Australian feature films and television series. He is also well known for his time as a judge on the Australian and New Zealand Dancing with the Stars.

After an international career in movies and television Paul turned his attention to another one of his favourite passions: cooking. His love of food, cooking and brewing, coupled with a love of travelling, inspired the television series Mercurio's Menu.

Paul's best-selling cookbook Mercurio's Menu, based on the recipes from his television series, was released in 2009. His second book Cooking with Beer shares his love and knowledge of brewing beer and developing recipes with beer as the essential ingredient.

Paul was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2010 and 2012.

The Paleo Way of living.


Pete Evans is an internationally renowned chef, restaurateur, author and television presenter.

Pete’s culinary career began in 1993 at the age of 19 when he opened his first restaurant, The Pantry, with brother Dave. It quickly become 'the' spot to eat in Melbourne's bayside suburb Brighton.

Pete and Dave then moved to Sydney, launching a chain of award-winning restaurants under the Hugos Restaurant Group banner with friend David Corsi. As the group's executive chef, Pete worked across the group of restaurants and the Hugos catering business, helping Hugos achieve eight chef's hats, 21 best in Australia awards, three best pizza in Australia awards, and in 2005 the best pizza in the world title at the American Pizza Challenge in New York City.

Pete is an acclaimed author, having written 10 best-selling cookbooks, and has been a regular face on Australian television since 2001.

In 2010 he become a household name alongside Manu Feildel as presenter and judge on My Kitchen Rules, now in its eighth season.

Pete's most recent culinary influence has been The Paleo Way of living, promoting the positive changes and healthier lifestyle the diet can bring.

Pete has been a guest of Tasting Australia six times.

An Australian favourite.

Philippe Mouchel is considered one of Australia's best French chefs.

Born in France, he has a long list of international restaurants next to his name. They span France, Japan, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney.

Philippe trained under legendary French chef Paul Bocuse, the only chef in France to have been awarded three Michelin stars for more than 40 consecutive years.

Philippe was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2001, 2007 and 2012.

A familiar face.

Rachel Allen is an acclaimed TV chef, author, journalist and student turned teacher at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School.

The Irish chef has written four cookbooks, starred in her own internationally aired cooking shows, and is a regular columnist and guest chef on TV.

Rachel was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2012.

Entertaining the international food event circuit.

Richard Fox is an award-winning writer, cook book author, entertainer and TV chef presenter.

Richard’s first book, The Food and Beer Cook Book, was published in 2006.

Richard was the winner of The British Guild of Beer Writers awards for food and beer writing, and has been a regular on British TV in his own series and a popular guest chef on BBC.

Richard Fox is passionate about reducing food waste and helped launch the UK Love Food Hate Waste campaign.

As well as being a part of Tasting Australia 2012 Richard also came to Australia as an OzHarvest ambassador.

For the love of seafood.

Rick Stein is an English Chef, restaurateur, author and television presenter who made his name in the 90's with his love of fresh seafood. As he said at the time "nothing is more exhilarating than fresh fish simply cooked."

Beginning his career as the chef and co-owner of The Seafood Restaurant in the fishing port of Padstow on the North Coast of Cornwall, Rick has now written more than 20 cook books, an autobiography, starred in more than 30 television programmes, and cooked for some of the most famous people in the world - including The Queen and Prince Philip.

Travelling the world in the search of great dishes, Rick Stein has shown Australia his skills in the kitchen as a Tasting Australia guest chef from the festivals' inception in 1997 and again in 1999, 2001 and 2003.
Reality TV gone right.


British chef Rosemary Shrager is best known for her infectious personality as vice principal in the reality television programme Ladette to Lady, as a judge on Soapstar Superchef, from her appearance on I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, and her own television project Kitchen Showdown with Rosemary Shrager.

Before television fame Rosemary worked for Pierre Koffmann at the internationally famous Tante Claire restaurant in London, then with Jean-Christophe Novelli, before becoming head chef at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle. It was here that Rosemary found her love of teaching others to cook after opening her own renowned cookery school, moving it to Swinton Park for a further 10 years after leaving Amhuinnsuidhe Castle.

Rosemary has published six cookbooks, with her first titled Rosemary - Castle Cook.

Rosemary Shrager was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2010.

Photo credit: Roddy Paine

Adelaide’s café culture King.


Adelaide's café culture saw an Italian influence spread across the city as Salvatore Pepe and partners' North Adelaide restaurant Cibo Ristorante Pasticceria expanded into Cibo Espresso franchises.

Calabrian born and Tuscan-trained Salvatore come to Australia at the age of 26, bringing with him his rich Italian heritage and expressing it through his culinary skills.
In 2005 Salvatore launched his cookbook, Cibo, at Tasting Australia on the banks of the Torrens in Elder Park.

With Cibo branches around every corner of Adelaide, Salvatore's newest venture is in the kitchen at Pepe Cucina in Adelaide's luxe shopping centre Burnside Village.

Pepe Cucina marks a return to Salvatore’s long-held commitment to fresh, local, seasonal ingredients handled with love and respect and paired with outstanding Italian and South Australian wines.

Salvatore was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2010.

Taking on the world’s culinary best.


Best known as the head chef of restaurant Vue de monde at Melbourne's Rialto Tower and as a guest judge on MasterChef Australia, Shannon Bennett first stepped into the kitchen at his uncle's restaurant after he and classmate, chef Curtis Stone, realised their passion for cooking.

After completing his apprenticeship in Melbourne, Shannon travelled to Europe and worked with some of the world's best chefs including Albert Roux, John Burton-Race, Marco Pierre White and Alain Ducasse.

In 2000 he opened Vue de Monde, his first restaurant, at the age of just 24. It didn't take long for Melbourne diners to fall in love with Shannon's edgy approach to classic cuisine.
Shannon has since extended his offering to more casual and express options, launching a range of cafes around Melbourne.

His global culinary profile was recognised by being the first Australian member of the associations Jeunes Restaurateurs D’Europe and Les Grandes Tables Du Monde and cemented in 2007 as a guest chef at New York's Star Chefs Congress.

Shannon has made recent guest appearances on MasterChef Australia and has written seven cookbooks and culinary guides.

Shannon Bennett was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2005, 2007, and 2010.

East and the West culinary creativity.


Named the 2003 chef of the year in The Age Good Food Guide, Teage Ezard's culinary career began more than a decade earlier.

Teage completed a rigorous culinary apprenticeship under the guidance of renowned chef Hermann Schneider, whose restaurant, Two Faces, in Melbourne’s South Yarra, was long regarded as one of Australia’s best.

After achieving culinary excellence in his five years with restaurant Guernica Teage realised his life-long dream of opening his own restaurant, EZARD, which was awarded two chef's hats and named best new restaurant by The Age within a year of opening.

More recently Teage has influenced Australian cuisine as a culinary consultant, guest chef, and by demonstrating his culinary creations to event audiences across the world.

Teage Ezard was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2003.

Kitchen hand come best Australasian restauranteur.


Tetsuya Wakuda's Sydney restaurant Tetsuya's is consistently rated among the top 10 in world.

Tetsuya grew up in Hamamatsu, a town on the main Japanese island of Honshu, and left in 1982 bound to become a kitchenhand at Fishwives in Surry Hills. Sydney chef Tony Bilson asked Tetsuya a year later to come to one of his restaurants, Kinsela's, where he made sushi and learnt many of the French techniques that form part of his celebrated style of cooking.

Tetsuya opened his first restaurant Ulimo's with a friend and then in 1989 opened Tetsuya's. The award-winning restaurant combines Tetsuya's love of Japanese and French cuisines and was named best Australasian restaurant as well as a top five restaurant worldwide by Restaurant Magazine in London.

Tetsuya was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2010.

Cheese maestro taking on raw milk.

Gastronomic cheese hero Will Studd has been making artisan cheese for more than four decades.

Beginning his career in central London, Studd established a chain of specialist delicatessens in the 1970s before migrating to Australia in 1981.

Will champions the use of raw milk to produce un-pasteurised cheeses around the globe and was an influential campaigner in Australia to help lift the total ban of these cheeses.

A regular contributor to Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine and Australian Gourmet Wine magazine, Will has also written two of his own books, Chalk and Cheese and Cheese Slices, which are regarded as highly sought-after compendiums by cheese aficionados.

Since 2002 Will has produced and presented in his own television series, Cheese Slices, focusing on artisanal and traditional handmade cheese around the globe.

He is an internationally renowned cheese maestro and has received numerous awards including recognition from France’s famous Guilde des Fromagers as an ambassadeur and mâitre fromager.

Will Studd was a guest of Tasting Australia in 2001, 2003, and 2007.

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