Considered one of Australia’s favourite celebrity chefs, Jenny Lam is a passionate chef and entrepreneur. She is the owner of the iconic Vietnamese eatery Bunn Mee & newly launched Phat Lon in Leederville. Phat Lon was both tipped by UrbanListPerth as the most anticipated opening of 2022 and respectively by Rob Broadfield as a restaurant ‘we can’t wait to go back to’.
In November 2020 Jenny released her first cookbook ‘Eat Like A Viet – Recipes from the street’, this title went on to earn her the coveted title of award-winning cookbook author when the book won Gold in New Work at the International Independent Publishing Awards 2021. She is a regular media contributor, regularly appearing across Australian television screens, radio stations and newspapers, and with her bubbly, courageous and authentic personality it’s not hard to see why.
Learning to cook at eight years of age, Jen’s culinary knowledge and skills grew from her love of her own culture, and her love of traditional Vietnamese food, and by the age of 13 she was preparing all meals for her family. Jen’s vision is to spread joy and inspiration and empowerment through her two great loves – food and business – whilst educating them on how to experience their own culinary adventures at home.
She is a proud ambassador for Foodbank WA and also works closely with Ronald McDonald House Charities WA.
George Calombaris is one of the world’s most decorated chefs; recognised and respected around the world by his peers and the general public for his culinary genius and his absolute passion for food.
In his home country of Australia, George has built a massive following as a result of his successful and hugely popular restaurants, as well as headlining MasterChef Australia for 12 years, helping take it from domestic success story to global blockbuster.
George also has a significant following in countries as diverse as India, South Africa, Greece, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom and Indonesia; instantly recognised through his appearances on TV shows including MasterChef Australia, MasterChef Poland, MasterChef Greece and Saturday Kitchen in the UK, among many others.
George’s career has seen him at the forefront of some of Australia’s finest, award-winning restaurants; leading and mentoring many of Australia’s next generation of extraordinary young chefs and hospitality workers.
His skills have been acknowledged though many personal accolades including Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Young Chef of the Year…but he loves nothing more than being on the tools, in a kitchen surrounded by dedicated, passionate and talented young artisans.
As well as mentoring young talent, George has always given his time generously to important causes including mental health and bowel cancer prevention.
George Calombaris is a man with a story to tell. From winning a scholarship as an apprentice, to competing in prestigious international events including the Bocuse d’Or culinary grand prix in France, working for and then owning some of Australia’s finest restaurants, becoming a published author of multiple successful books, and then all the way through to his time as a celebrated chef on some of television’s most successful shows.
And still to this day George remains absolutely committed to his craft. Through the trials and tribulations that have come his way, his creativity, knowledge, and ability to show love through his food will never be lost. George is a risk taker and a leader; a trend maker, always on the lookout for something that makes his work stand out from the rest, in every aspect.
Darren Purchese is one of the most sought after, creative and respected chefs working in Australia today, he is renowned for his exquisite and extravagant sweet & savoury creations.
It was love that brought British born Darren to Australia, and maybe fate played a hand too.
Already working in prestigious kitchens across England and France, Darren was invited in 2004 to appear at a Brisbane Masterclass Weekend. It was his first visit to Australia…and the first time he met his future wife and partner in B&P, Melbourne chef and restaurateur, Cath Claringbold.
A year later, Darren was here to stay.
He worked as executive pastry chef at some of the best Australian restaurants, Vue de monde in Melbourne and Bennelong at the Sydney Opera House among them. He has consulted to many of Melbourne’s favourite restaurants and worked alongside many world class chefs before, in 2011 he and Cath opened the now iconic Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio.
At B&P, Darren further cemented his reputation as a chef who skillfully balances flavour, texture, and presentation. He paired this skills with modern techniques and traditional methods, to produce revolutionary dessert concepts.
His sweet centrepieces have been in demand at some of our most prestigious events, The Australian F1 Grand Prix, The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, NGV Gala and Logies have all enjoyed Darren’s showstopping cakes and desserts.
Charlotte Ree is an obsessive food lover and avid home cook and recipe developer. When she isn’t in the kitchen, you can find Charlotte working with some of Australia’s biggest authors as part of her day job as Head of Marketing for a book publisher.
Charlotte has recently written a book, Heartbake: A Bittersweet Memoir which is a love letter to self discovery and the joy of cooking.
In this fearless and heartfelt memoir of food, love and self-discovery, Charlotte Ree shares stories from the heart to soothe the soul, and the stomach. Written in the wake of a divorce and at a time when the whole world was turned upside down, Heartbake traces Charlotte’s search for love in friendship, in family, in romance, and love in herself as she begins to heal from the narratives she’d been telling herself for years.
Reminiscent of Michelle Zauner’s Crying in H Mart and Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love, Charlotte’s prose is heart-wrenching, hilarious and hunger-inducing in equal measure. She explores the complexities of her familial relationships, reflects on how we find and choose love based on what we think we deserve, recalls both disastrous and delightful dates, and revels in the joy of sharing good food with strangers and significant others alike.
“The discovery of cooking for others again ignited something in me – it gave me meaning, and in some ways it brought me back to life,” Charlotte writes in the book. In every bite, Charlotte shows us the healing power of food, from the perfect simplicity of a boiled egg to the luxurious comfort of lasagne, or ricotta and pesto ravioli in a brown butter and sage sauce. Included in the book – a cloth-bound linen hardback in a fitting egg yolk yellow complete with stunning photography – are 23 recipes ranging from family heirlooms like Mama’s spinach pie and Pa’s pesto to Charlotte’s famous burnt Basque cheesecake, better-than-sex tiramisu (based on a date gone awry) and a filthy martini.
Deeply personal and tender, Heartbake is part memoir, part recipe book, and part joyous battle cry for those who find themselves lonely at any age, hungry for so much more from life.
Heartbake by Charlotte Ree (Allen & Unwin) is available at all good bookstores and online from 2 May.
One of Australia’s most renowned sommeliers, Louella Mathews is currently group sommelier of Trippas White Group, and has previous experience in fine-dining institutions such as Rockpool 1989 and Rockpool Bar & Grill.
She is also a wine consultant, writer, judge, event host and influencer (@louthesomm).
She also dabbles in winemaking production with her best friend and winemaker Nadja Wallington with their label ‘The Somm and The Winemaker.’
And most recently was the In house Sommelier for the ‘Make it Delicious Viseo Series’ hosted by Darren Robertson.
Mathews won the Australia’s Wine List of the Year 2020 Sommeliers’ Choice Award (for bibo wine bar) and was nominated for Young Sommelier of the Year in 2016
Andrew Burgess is an accredited olive oil taster and judge who has worked in the olive industry for 28 years and is one of Cobram Estate’s longest serving employees. He joined the company in 2000 and has seen the company grow to be the largest olive oil producer in Australia. His current role sees him heavily involved in renewables and sustainability projects, utilising every part of the olive for the benefit of the planet, as well as managing all the companies water needs. He is also a current board member for the Australian Olive Association and a judge for the Australian Olive Industry Awards. Andrew is an avid potter and he never misses a morning walk listening to his favourite podcasts on food, finance and fun.
Charming and ever-so-modest, Matt was co-founder of the Melbourne institution Pope Joan in Brunswick East and The Pie Shop next door.
These days you’ll find him amongst the kitchen & gardens at Montalto Winery on the Mornington Peninsula as Culinary Director, showing off cooking over fire with his co-founded company Street BBQ or at Cobram Estate Olive harvest cooking with all things Extra Virgin Olive oil.
He is the author of three top-selling cookbooks titled Mr Wilkinson’s, larrikin MC and has made TV appearances on Gardening Australia and The Great Australian Cookbook
As an Accredited Practising Dietitian, PhD qualified Nutrition Scientist, Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with La Trobe University, along with a career spanning three decades, Jo has the credentials and the experience to earn her place as one of Australia’s most sought-after and trusted health and wellbeing experts.
Jo is a regular on radio, podcasts and television across all channels, including Catalyst on the ABC and the Nine Network’s Today Show. She has authored eight books and four audio books, covering a range of topics including gut, brain and heart health and is an experienced speaker with over one million views of her TedX talk. Jo has been a nutrition consultant to Cobram Estate for many years and was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the company in 2021.
Leandro Ravetti graduated as an Agricultural Engineer in Argentina and worked for the National Institute of Agricultural Technology in olive production research from 1995 until he moved to Australia in 2001 to join Cobram Estate.
Leandro was appointed Executive Director of Cobram Estate Olives in 2005. As part of his role, Leandro has overseen all technical aspects of olive growing and olive oil production, developing the Oliv.iQ® growing system. Leandro has received a meritorious lifetime award from the Australian Olive Association for his outstanding contribution to the Australian olive industry. Leandro was appointed Joint-CEO (Technical and Production) of Cobram Estate Olives in 2021 and today is a highly respected expert in the olive industry, and in olive oil tasting. He is also a big foodie and loves channelling his Argentinian and Italian background in his cooking.
Following a decorated career spanning 17 years with the St Kilda Football Club where he played 336 games and kicked 718 goals, Nick turned his passion for the game into a media role as a presenter with Fox Footy upon his retirement in 2018. For the last four years Nick has provided expert commentary and analysis on AFL matches and is regular member of ‘On the Couch’.
In 2023, Nick has moved with his family to his wife’s hometown in Houston, Texas for a year of Texan adventures with his extended Texan family. Nick is keeping busy in his year away and will continue some of his media presenting back into Australia, work full time as a Business Development Manager for PMY Consulting and continue his role on the Board of Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, the charity he co-founded which was inspired following the devastating passing of Nick’s sister Maddie in 2015
Nick has always had a passion for food and cooking and in 2021 he swapped footy for a fry pan and took part in Celebrity MasterChef, one his greatest challenges yet and one he succeeded at, being crowned the 2021 winner!
Born in Hobart, Nick grew up catching lobster and fishing for scallops alongside his close-knit family, and together they prepared tasty and decadent seafood dishes. Confident with fish, Nick is also happy working with pasta, and grew up with his mum’s Sunday roast as a firm favourite.
Nick holds the all-time record for most marks in VFL/AFL history, and is a five-time All Australian and St Kilda’s longest serving captain, but away from the game Nick is all about family. Married to wife Catherine who hails from Texas, he’s familiar with American style BBQ and loves a weekend cook up for his three young sons, James, William and Teddy.