Thanks to our booming food culture and reality cooking shows like My Kitchen Rules and Masterchef taking over our television screens for the past decade, Australia is home to many well-known celebrity chefs. Here, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favourites:
1. Curtis Stone
43-year-old Curtis Stone shot to fame following his performance on season three of The Celebrity Apprentice. After starting cooking at the age of four under the watch of his grandmother, he went on to study a Bachelor of Business before turning his interests to food. Curtis began his culinary career at the Savoy Hotel at the age of 18 before moving to London to work for Marco Pierre White.
In 2014, he opened his first restaurant in Beverly Hills, Maude Restaurant, which focuses on seasonal cuisine and superb wine. He also owns Gwen, a fine dining restaurant in Los Angeles.
Pete began his career as chef and restaurateur at the age of 19. The now 46-year-old went on to open numerous award-winning restaurants across the country and has since cooked in some of the finest restaurants around the world. Pete is a firm believer in the paleo lifestyle and this is reflected in his cooking and passion for health and wellness. He has hosted and produced two seasons of The Paleo Way, is a presenter on the Moveable Feast and has been the co-host and a judge on My Kitchen Rules for 9 seasons. He has recently featured in the award-winning documentary The Magic Pill which shows the impact food can have on our bodies.
In 2013, Emma Dean was the winner of the fifth season of MasterChef, with her first cookbook, A Homegrown Table published later that year. Her cooking style is inspired by her regional upbringing and combines farm-fresh produce with her enthusiasm for urban foraging.
She is also the host of television series, My Market Kitchen, which is currently in its third season.
Adriano Zumbo is an Australian patisser known for his intricate, fun and magical sweet creations. The 37-year-old first became interested in desserts as a boy, when he would raid the cake mix and lolly aisle at his parent’s supermarket in Coonamble. He went on to study as a pastry chef both in Australia and France under culinary greats such as Neil Perry, Ramon Morato and Pierre Herme. However, it wasn’t until he appeared as a guest chef on MasterChef in 2009 and set the contestants a croquembouche challenge, that he became a household name. A decade later and Adriano has a number of retail stores across Sydney and Melbourne, as well as many books and Ebooks, including Zumbo (2011), Zumbarons (2012) and The Zumbo Files (2015.)
8. Matt Moran
Matt Moran is the culinary genius behind some of Australia’s most celebrated restaurants, such as Chiswick, Aria Sydney and North Bondi Fish. The 50-year-old is known for his love of quality produce and fresh, light, seasonal meals. Matt’s food career began in his 20’s as an apprentice at La Belle Helene, where he quickly rose up the ranks to the role of head chef.
To date, he’s hosted many TV shows including The Great Australian Bake Off, The Chopping Block and Paddock To Plate and regularly appears as a judge on MasterChef. Matt has released four books, Matt Moran (2008), Dinner at Matt’s (2011), Matt Moran’s Kitchen Garden (2015), Matt Moran’s Australian Food (2017).
9. Neil Perry
As the founder of the uber-successful ‘Rockpool’ empire, Neil Perry is one of the country’s most influential chefs to-date. The 62-year-old is renowned for his commitment to freshness and quality Australian produce across all seven of his restaurants and is also considered an expert in Asian cuisine.
Neil’s career in hospitality began when he was working in front of house at Sails restaurant in McMahons Point and Rose Bay, but his passion for cooking quickly saw him progress to a role in the kitchen. By the age of 24, he had already begun to hone his craft under the likes of Damien Pignolet, Gay Bilson, Stephanie Alexander, Steve Manfredi and David Thompson. Just years later (in 1986) he opened his first business, the Blue Water Grill, in Bondi Beach and became an overnight success.
Neil is the host of The LifeStyle Channel’s multi-award-winning food program, Food Source – Neil Perry, Neil Perry Fresh & Fast and Neil Perry Rockpool Sessions. He is also the author of four cookbooks; Rockpool Bar & Grill (2010), Easy Weekends (2013), Simply Good Food (2013) and Spice Temple (2015).
10. Peter Gilmore
51-year-old Peter Gilmore – the executive chef at Sydney restaurant Quay - attended his first cooking class at the tender age of four. 12 years later he began his apprenticeship, before moving to the UK to work in various places across the country, including London. Upon moving home to Australia, he took over the reins at Quay and just a year later led the establishment to be crowned the Good Food Guide’s Restaurant of the Year. In 2015, he reopened Bennelong restaurant in the Sydney Opera House and took out the title for ‘Best New Restaurant’ at all three major Australian Restaurant Awards. As a keen gardener, Peter’s speciality cuisine is best described as food inspired by nature. He has written three cookbooks: Quay: Food Inspired by Nature (2010), Organum: nature, texture, intensity, purity (2014), and From The Earth: World’s Great, Rare and Almost Forgotten Vegetables (2018).
Peter regularly appears as a guest chef and judge on MasterChef and famously invented the Snow Egg which set the final challenge of the series’ second season. He’s also enjoyed stints on such shows as Netflix’s The Restaurant Australia.
RELATED:Everything you need to know about Curtis Stone
Lottie DalzielLottie Dalziel is a 4AM riser and coffee-addict who lives and breathes the Better Homes and Gardens brand. When she isn't reading up on the latest trends in sustainability or discovering ways to upcycle almost anything, you can find her by the beach, cooking up a storm or adding to her abundant (some would say out of control) plant collection.