If cooking up delectable dishes wasn’t enough of a challenge, this list of Australian chefs have set their sights on some interesting side projects to up the ante.

Andrew McConnell

Meatsmith Butcher Shop

The newest addition to the club, Andrew McConnell of Cutler & Co and Cumulus Inc fame is continuing his streak of successful collaborations with side project Meatsmith. As though heading up six restaurants wouldn’t keep you busy enough, McConnell has now teamed up with Troy Wheeler, former head-butcher at Peter Bouchier, to open this boutique butcher on trendy Smith Street in Melbourne.

McConnell was inspired to open the boutique butcher by his work with local producers. “It’s about showcasing and honouring the farmer, all the hard work they’ve put into it”, explains McConnell. While the butcher is currently wholesale, its rare and unusual cuts will be available to the public later this year. 


Stephanie Alexander

Kitchen Garden Foundation

After hanging up her apron, Australian culinary icon Stephanie Alexander founded the Kitchen Garden Program at Collingwood College. Taking her passion for educating children on how to make good food choices and combining fun and flavour, the program is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to introducing the program into primary school curriculum.

Kitchen Garden Schools commit to a dynamic and innovative model that sees kitchen and garden classes run weekly, enabling skills-based learning that extends across the entire school curriculum. The program is currently run in 297 schools across Australia.


The European

Spring Street Store and Gelato Primavera

Industry veterans Josh Brisbane and Con Christopoulos are the power duo behind Melbourne institutions the European, Supper Club and Siglo. After over 17 years in the restaurant business, the pair has recently endeavored on a new venture with the Spring St Grocer.

The grocery store has been designed with the same charming vintage aesthetic as it’s restaurant siblings. Shining marble bench tops, a retro colour scheme and colourful stacks of tinned goods and produce create a feel of nostalgia for the grocery stores of our youth. Aside from the gourmet offerings, the store also features an artisan cheese cellar headed by award-winning cheese monger, Anthony Femia, and a gelato bar.


Rockpool Bar & Grill

Burger Project

The Burger Project is the brainchild of top Australian restaurateurs, Rockpool Group. Following the phenomenal success of the Rockpool Bar & Grill Burger, directors Neil Perry, Trish Richards and David Doyle were inspired to bring the gourmet burger to the people.

The Burger Project takes the core values of Rockpool and applies them to this casual dining establishment, so while the décor may be more relaxed, the food is still the paddock-to-plate quality we’ve come to expect. The burgers are made using 36-month Cape Grim grass-fed chuck and brisket steak, which is ground in-house and complimented with fresh locally sourced ingredients and condiments.