DANIEL WILSON | HUXTABURGER

Another kiwi making his mark on the Melbourne food scene, Daniel Wilson earned his stripes in the States and then reached for the stars in Melbourne. He was rewarded early on, jointly winning The Age 2003 Good Food Guide Young Chef of the Year and then continued his trajectory gaining hats at now closed Huxtable, the restaurant he co-owned and cooked for, and being at the forefront of the Melbourne gourmet burger wave with Huxtaburger. … More DANIEL WILSON | HUXTABURGER

MAURICIO NAVARRO | PRAHRAN HOTEL

Mauricio Navarro has always loved cooking and pours that love into the food he makes. He also has a heart for his team in the kitchen and wants to create a family all making good food together. Having studied cooking in Colombia, he has spent time at the Cradle Mountain Lodge and then working under Josh Murphy at The Builders Arms. Now, fresh from traveling around Europe he is running the kitchen at the iconic Prahran Hotel and has just launched a new menu.
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ADAM DAVIES | FORTIFY BAR & RESTAURANT

There are many hallmarks of a good conversation. One of them must certainly be having a chat whilst drinking beautiful Languedoc rosé, sampling a cheese that’s been brought into the country in a suitcase and savouring the lobster bisque made with saffron and cognac. Having run backpackers’ hostels in Mexico and Lyon and travelled through … More ADAM DAVIES | FORTIFY BAR & RESTAURANT

IAN CURLEY | THE EUROPEAN GROUP

I’m sitting in the Cheese Cave down the spiral staircase below Spring Street Grocer chatting to Ian Curley, the man behind some of Melbourne’s most well-loved restaurants and bars (The European, City Wine Shop, French Saloon, Kirk’s Wine Bar, Melbourne Supper Club, Siglo, Spring Street). Sometimes conversations can start pretty awkwardly but this was the best starter ever, thanks to Ian’s observation of the cheese tasting going on in the background. … More IAN CURLEY | THE EUROPEAN GROUP

TOMOYA KAWASAKI | BOSOZOKU

Bosozoku is the latest pearl in a string of cool Japanese restaurants devised by chef Tomoya Kawasaki. Home to Secret Sake warming stations, karaoke & nintendo rooms, pool tables, motorcycle chandeliers, outdoor fire pits, Hitachi train seats and a figurative Onsen at the base of Mt Fuji (a dry ice spa that you can kick back in whilst sipping on a cocktail), this 200 seater is definitely one to check out asap. … More TOMOYA KAWASAKI | BOSOZOKU

ARCHAN CHAN | RICKY & PINKY

ArChan Chan has worked in Andrew McConnell’s restaurants for six years, previously at Supernormal and Golden Fields. Originally from Hong Kong, ArChan loves eating and cooking, but equally finds listening to others an important aspect of being a chef. ArChan is the epitome of hospitality with her holistic approach and care for those around her, as well as her absolute mastery of delicious Chinese-inspired cuisine. … More ARCHAN CHAN | RICKY & PINKY

SHAUN QUADE | LÛMÉ

Walking into Lûmé, I was immediately struck by the atmosphere of calm efficiency. It’s the afternoon and the team are preparing for service; quietly going about their tasks. I’m welcomed warmly, the decor is cosy; it’s as though I have walked into someone’s house. This is a well-oiled machine, but a personable one, one that has the guest at its centre. I doubt Shaun Quade gets any sleep. His brain is sparking in all directions. This was a wonderful conversation.  … More SHAUN QUADE | LÛMÉ

TOM BROCKBANK | THE GEORGE ON COLLINS

Tom Brockbank has a passion for producing quality ethically conscious dishes, revelling in local and seasonal produce and ensuring minimal food wastage. Tom has worked in London at Pollen Street Social and here, at No. 8 and Estelle. He is now running the beautifully renovated George on Collins and he will have you at the 12-hour lamb shoulder, aged for 14 days then slow-cooked and served with bacon and petits pois. … More TOM BROCKBANK | THE GEORGE ON COLLINS

ROTEM PAPO | L’HÔTEL GITAN

With a background working at the top European restaurants in Israel, Rotem Papo started at Hotel Gitan as senior chef de partie before becoming sous chef. He stepped up into the Head Chef role in November and hasn’t looked back. What excites him the most is his Specials board and when you see it, you’ll understand why. Seasonal creativity at it’s finest; “always changing, never boring.” For my part, I was particularly impressed that Rotem had come in on his day off to chat with me and that he offered me a glass of wine. All the best conversations happen with a glass in hand. … More ROTEM PAPO | L’HÔTEL GITAN

DAVID RICARDO | PLAZA BALLROOM

David is softly spoken and seems as though he would be completely unflappable in any situation, which is a good thing, considering he oversees the execution of fine dining meals for up to 600 guests at one time. Before we sat down to chat, he showed me the ballroom, an exquisite heritage listed venue in the heart of Melbourne. I am now trying desperately to come up with an event so that I can eat there; for David’s food and for the theatrical elegance of the venue. … More DAVID RICARDO | PLAZA BALLROOM