Anna Gare’s passion for cooking began when she could reach the top of the kitchen bench. At the age of eight-and-a-half she took charge of her school canteen one day a week, providing a three course meal for a dollar.
When she was 12 and three quarters, desperately wanting to be 13, she formed an all girl band with her sister and two friends called the “Jam Tarts”. For ten years the Jam Tarts were a successful touring and recording band within Australia and acclaimed at international music festivals.
While Anna was in the Jam Tarts, she supplemented her rock and roll lifestyle with cooking, where she honed her talents in various restaurants around Australia.
After a decade of rock and roll, it was time for a change. Her life had always revolved around food and delighting others with her gastronomical gift, so she decided to start charging for her efforts and formed a small catering business. Today Deluxe Catering with food by Anna Gare is one of Perth’s most successful and innovative Catering Companies. The food created in the Deluxe kitchen not only leaves an impression, but often steals the show.
Anna also began working in Television. She worked on ABC’s Consuming Passions as Ian Parmenter’s right hand assistant, “preparing the dish he had prepared earlier”.
Following her TV experience with Ian, Anna went on to presenting her own cooking segment on magazine chat show called Perth at Five. The program was shot live and ran weeknights for four months. Anna has also presented a documentary on Fremantle, segments on Today Tonight and cooking segments with Perth DIY show Nuts and Bolts. Anna also featured in and narrated a five-part series, Chefs Christmas, for The LifeStyle Channel. The series features ten of Australia’s hottest chefs who invite viewers into their homes to share their festive
Last year Anna co-starred with chefs Ben O’Donoghue and Darren Simpson in The Best in Australia on The LifeStyle Channel. Filmed in her family home in Fremantle, WA, the program was incredibly well received and Anna has just finished shooting the second series which will premiere on The LifeStyle Channel in August.
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For chef and television presenter Ben O’Donoghue, cooking is a passion and a reflex, it’s something he’s done since childhood and it never ceases to give him pleasure or stimulate his imagination. He unequivocally believes that food should be simple and distinctive, technically and culturally correct.
Ben started his career working in a number of topclass Australian restaurants including Tribeca and Goodfellas in Sydney and Jessicas in Perth before moving to London ten years ago. For four years he worked at The River Café and then joined his mate Jamie Oliver at the exclusive Monte's Club as head chef.
He then worked as Head Chef at the famous Atlantic Bar & Grill and helped Oliver Peyton win the contract to open the National Dining Room at the National Gallery with his creative and seasonal menus. He is now the creative director of food for The Great Australian Pie Company in the UK.
Ben is now living back in Australia after 13 years in the UK. He has just finished filming the brand new series of The Best in Australia. The second 8x60mins series, based on the hit BBC series, The Best, will screen on The LifeStyle Channel from the end of August. Ben was one of the chefs in the original series of The Best, which produced an accompanying book of the same name.
His television credits also include four series of the internationally acclaimed food and travel program, Surfing the Menu, a journey to source and cook with the finest, freshest ingredients from all over Australia and New Zealand. The popular series screens in Australia and the UK and has also been sold to over 30 other territories. He was the food judge for LifeStyle FOOD’s recent Great BBQ Challenge series; and has also appeared on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen and Planet Food.
Ben’s new cookbook with Hardie Grant Books, Outdoor: Grill Your Way Round the World, will be released in October 2008. Ben writes a regular food column ‘Ben’s Basics’ for Olive
Magazine in the UK as well as a regular column for Delicious Magazine in Australia.
In his spare time, Ben enjoys surfing, fly-fishing and playing with his three children.
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Darren Simpson studied and began his career in Northern Ireland where he was born. Within two years of landing his first job, Darren was named UK’s Young Chef of the Year. At 21, he was and still is, the youngest ever winner of this prestigious annual award open to all UK chefs under the age of 25.
From 1992 to 1999, Darren trained and worked with some of the greatest. He has worked in restaurants such as: Paul Rankin’s Michelin-starred Roscoff, Ireland; Albert Roux’s Michelin-starred Le Gavroche, London; Sally Clarke’s Clarke’s, London; Simon Hopkinson’s Bibendum, London; as joint Head Chef of the acclaimed River Café, London; and Head Chef at Sir Terence Conran’s Sartoria in Savile Row, London.
In 1999, Darren was head-hunted to become the Head Chef of Aqua Luna Bar and Restaurant at Sydney’s East Circular Quay. Having received fantastic reviews, Darren’s food has been
described as “dynamic” and “big-flavoured”. Darren then opened the award-winning La Sala (The Room), a modern Italian restaurant in 2005.
Darren can soon be seen on the brand new series of, The Best in Australia. The second 8x60mins series, based on the hit BBC series, The Best, will screen on The LifeStyle Channel from the end of August.
His TV appearances also include resident chef on Sunrise; presiding as judge on hit reality show, My Restaurant Rules; presenter on lifestyle program, Live This; and Ready Steady Cook. Off the screen, Darren has attended invitations as MC and/or speaker of key food and wine events across Australia.
Darren has written for various national and overseas publications: Food Feature writer, ‘Esquire Magazine’ - UK; contributing food writer, ‘FHM’ – Australia; contributing food writer, ‘Selector Magazine’ – Australia; Food Editor, ‘Live This Magazine’ - Australia; and contributor, Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Good Living’ - Australia.
Darren clearly knows how to cook courses of fine Italian dishes; all garnished with his cheeky infectious Irish charm. As he says, it’s all about “keeping it simple.”
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Gio is the head bartender at chic Italian eatery Lo Studio situated in the Heritage listed former Paramount Pictures Building, in the heart of Sydney’s emerging dining precinct, Surry Hills. Gio has gained a worthy reputation both locally & abroad with his unique signature cocktails.
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Beneath the sails of the Opera House a French man is conducting his own show each night. It is an elaborate culinary performance, reflecting his past (through exquisite French technique) yet it is also firmly grounded in his present: the menu is a celebration of Australian produce, heritage and regionality. Now an Australian citizen, Brahimi was born in Paris and it was in the shadow of another iconic landmark, Notre Dame, that he learnt his trade (at the famed Tour D’Argent). He went on to spend four years at Jamin, under the skilled guidance of Joel Robuchon, where he worked his way up to sous-chef (second in charge).
Keen for a new challenge Brahimi headed to the distant shores of Australia. He opened his own restaurant, Pond, and within six months the restaurant had been awarded two chef’s hats (from the prestigious Good Food Guide awards), a record achievement in such a short period of time. Moving harbour-side in 1995, Brahimi took over the reins at Bilsons (later to become Quay) taking the restaurant to the giddy height of three-hats and Best French Restaurant in 1998. In 2001, Brahimi was awarded the prestigious contract to run the restaurant in the Opera House and his self-titled restaurant is now revered among Sydney’s best.
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John Lanzafame was former executive chef for Hugo’s Management, working primarily in Kings Cross at Hugo’s Lounge and Hugo’s Bar Pizza. John has previously owned and operated his own restaurant Lanzafame, in the inner-west of Sydney.
His passion for regional Italian cuisine and is renowned in the industry for his simple ideas and perfection “on the plate”. He enjoys building strong relationships with prominent Italians within the industry and is proud to say that these relationships have taken him to many countries around the world.
John is one of 8 chefs representing Australia in the culinary Olympics in 2008 in Germany, the oldest Olympic games in history.
John is also the current world champion pizza maker which was awarded in New York and can be seen regularly on Ready Steady Cook and also The LifeStyle Channel Chefs Christmas special..
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Mark Olive (aka “The Black Olive”) has been a chef for over 25 years, after becoming interested in cooking as a child through watching his mother and aunts. He was born in Wollongong in New South Wales, but his people are the Bundjalung nation from the state's northern rivers region.
His interest in people and in the arts has guided Mark through an amazingly varied career, and in the midst of it all he has also found time to complete a BA in film and television, at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne.
He initially trained with a European chef and has worked in theatres, universities, health centres, Jewish kitchens preparing kosher food, on film sets and in a la carte restaurants. Along with his TV series, The Outback Cafe, Mark’s previous television experiences includes regular appearances as a celebrity chef on ABC TV's Message Stick program, and more recently on Channel Ten’s ‘The Circle’.
Mark was Chef at Melbourne's indigenous restaurant, the Flaming Bull, and ran his own restaurant in Sydney for a time where he specialised in creating recipes using outback ingredients. Now Mark’s passion for fusing native food and culture with contemporary lifestyle cooking has led to a huge international profile, and the creation of Black Olive Catering, an indigenous catering company and function space in North Melbourne, Victoria.
Along with his daily business operations, Mark cooks regularly for clients such as Tourism Australia at large corporate, public and cultural events around the country and the world, bringing his signature infusions of contemporary outback flavours to every occasion. Mark’s business was chosen to feature in the Victorian itinerary when Oprah travelled to Australia with her Ultimate Audience in 2010. Her guests were treated to a cultural experience of indigenous food, art and storytelling during Mark’s infamous cooking demonstration.
For more information about Mark Olive and his catering business, visit www.blackolive.net.au
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Neil Perry is one of Australia’s leading and most influential chefs and is founder of the successful “Rockpool” Empire. Neil’s career in hospitality began at Sails restaurant at McMahons Point and in Rose Bay, starting at front house – Neil’s love of great food saw him quickly move backstage. By the time he was 24, he found himself gravitating towards the kitchen and realised his passion for cooking by working with, and learning from over the ensuing years, chefs such as Damien Pignolet, Gay Bilson, Stephanie Alexander, Steve Manfredi and David Thompson
In October 1986, he opened the Blue Water Grill at Bondi Beach and took the site from a 20 year failure to an overnight success.
Neil opened Rockpool in February 1989 with his partner Trish Richards, which has developed into a world class restaurant, winning many awards both here and overseas. In October 2006, Neil made his first foray interstate, opening Rockpool Bar and Grill in the Crown Complex in Melbourne.
In early 2009, Neil opened Spice Temple in Sydney, followed shortly after by Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney. Neil’s passion and the importance he places on quality produce is evident in all his dishes and the business projects he undertakes. Rockpool is a past recipient of The Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year award, Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year and was voted in the top 50 restaurants in the world by ‘UK magazine ‘Restaurant’ seven years running. Additionally, Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne won The Age Good Food Guide’s Restaurant of the Year award in 2008.
Neil is also the host of five series of The LifeStyle Channel’s multi-award-winning food program, Food Source – Neil Perry (which the BBC acquired for broadcast on BBC2); the 14-part series Neil Perry Fresh & Fast where he makes sensational meals in minutes; and Neil Perry Rockpool Sessions, a seven-part series that goes behind the scenes to discover what it takes to run one of the world’s best restaurants.
In February 2009, Rockpool Restaurant celebrated its 20th anniversary in The Rocks, Sydney. Over the years, it has consistently been highly recommended by food critics throughout Australia and the world. Rockpool's reputation is due to Neil’s passion for perfection, which has enabled it to train the very best staff and source the very best suppliers, who also strive for the utmost of quality in the products they supply.
Neil Perry’s commitment to freshness and quality of Australian produce, has been at the forefront in creating a distinguished style recognised worldwide. He has prepared food for Whoopi Goldberg at the Oscar Awards in Los Angeles, for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan, for Collette Dinnigan at the Paris fashion awards and for the Australian Chamber Orchestra in Hampshire, to name but a few overseas highlights.
Neil has two daughters and lives with his wife Samantha in Sydney. He is passionate about food and wine, travel and recipe books, and continually strives for excellence of quality in everything he does.
For more information about Neil Perry click here: http://www.neilperryfresh.com
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Born in Melbourne, Victoria, Puttock trained at Box Hill Institute of TAFE, his love affair with Italian food began when he was 18 working in Melbourne's acclaimed Caffe e Cucina. The passion flourished as he cheffed his way across Europe, working eighteen-hour days in Italian speaking kitchens, taking time out for snowboarding excursions and the odd very long lunch in a mountainside trattoria. In London, Tobie worked at the River Cafe, widely regarded as that city's best Italian restaurant, alongside a bevy of high-profile chefs, including Jamie Oliver. He moved back to Melbourne and, once again, an Italian kitchen, this time, a place called Termini.
In 2001 a surprise visit from his mate Jamie ( now a well-known celebrity chef), and a request to help on his new endeavour with under privileged London youth, meant Tobie found himself back in the UK shortly after. In 2002, Tobie became head chef at Jamie's Fifteen London, a restaurant venture that teaches disadvantaged young people how to become industry professionals, and that became the subject of a popular television series.
In 2006, Tobie opened a new Fifteen in Melbourne, serving Italian food, made with the best produce available, and prepared with care, imagination and plenty of heart. Tobie's cookbook Daily Italian, released in 2006, sticks to guiding principle of great Italian cuisine: that cooking is, if nothing else, an act of love.
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Will Studd has been at the forefront of specialist cheese in Australia for the past two decades, but his passion for cheese first originated in London during the 1970’s where he established a chain of delicatessens.
With more than three decades of experience he has done much to expand the horizons of the local industry, in a role that has included the distribution and retailing of fine cheese, media commentator, and successful author.
Will’s book Chalk and Cheese has won numerous awards, and is recognised by cheese specialists around the world as a valuable guide to understanding good cheese.
His contribution to traditional cheese is recognised in his title of Ambassadeur/Maitre Fromager of the prestigious Guilde des Fromagers in France, and he was recently presented with the Ordre Merite Agricole for his defence of traditional raw milk cheeses in the Australian market.
As presenter of Cheese Slices, Will explores the traditions, characters and flavours that make the world of cheese a rich and varied one.
To learn about Will's guide to buying, storing and serving cheese and other useful cheese facts CLICK HERE
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