Simon Bryant’s most recent appearance on television was as a regular chef (and regular winner) on ABC TV’s Beat the Chef.
As Executive Chef at The Hilton Adelaide, Simon Bryant has tempted the taste buds of many a famous face and ensures the hotel’s large commercial kitchen runs to schedule as it caters for 6000 meals a week. Coordinating a brigade of 34 chefs, two restaurants and a conferencing floor, Simon describes his job as being a bit like that of an air traffic controller. However, being a professional chef was not in his original plans. After completing a motor mechanics apprenticeship Simon undertook a Bachelor of Economics at Adelaide University. In 1987 he transferred to Melbourne University and while studying worked as a bicycle courier, dishwasher, barman and eventually cook at the University student cafeteria. From there an enduring interest in career cooking began.
A long-term interest in vegetarianism and a love of eastern cuisines led to stints in Indian and Thai restaurants, before completing formal studies in commercial cookery at William Angliss Tafe in Melbourne.
Simon embarked on a career with The Hilton Adelaide in 1995 where he had a meteoric rise through the ranks from Commis Chef to Sous Chef, Executive Sous Chef and finally the appointment as Executive Chef in 2001.
For Simon, recipes mean nothing; technique is everything. Things can always go wrong, and an ability to “wing it” is much needed in the pressure-cooker environment of commercial cooking and now TV presenting.
He looks forward to his new co-hosting role with Maggie Beer and said, “Maggie’s integrity and produce driven approach to food is both inspiring and refreshing”.
Simon also relishes the opportunity to meet with growers and suppliers who are providing the best produce in season. “It’s a great opportunity to get back to grass roots cooking and keep in touch with where the produce starts.”