French born Stephane Rio began his culinary career 16 years ago, in France’s highly competitive fine dining scene. As a young chef Stephane honed his cookery skills at some of Britain’s finest establishments including the Michelin starred “Lords of the Manor” in Gloucestershire.
Arriving in Australia seven years ago, Stephane quickly developed a passion for Australia’s top-quality produce and cuisine, making a swift transition into the Australian hotel scene, where he has enjoyed senior positions in kitchens all over the country.
With a voracious appetite for travel, Stephane’s first “tropical” adventure landed him on Hayman Island at the elegant “La Fontaine Restaurant” providing a first taste of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. He was soon lured away by Voyages to set new food standards at their Kings Canyon Resort in Central Australia. As Executive Chef, Stephane saw the Resort’s fine dining “Sounds of Firelight” experience awarded a Gold Plate for “Best Dining Experience and Best World Cuisine in the Northern Territory.”
Two years ago, Stephane’s love for the Australian tropics led him back to the Whitsundays and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, when he was selected by the Oatley family to head up cuisine for the launch of Hamilton Island’s exclusive “Beach Club Resort” signature five star restaurant.
Now chosen to interpret the qualia experience through perhaps the most potent and influential of the senses: taste; Stephane’s contemporary and simple take on the Australian dining experience harmonises perfectly with qualia’s understated luxury