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Masters of Fare

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Davud Akturk 2004
by Sahlan Hayes
colour photograph
Courtesy of Sahlan Hayes and The Sydney Morning Herald

Davud Akturk is a master baker whose handmade Turkish loaves have contributed to the growing popularity of this bread in Australia . Akturk, who comes from the eastern part of Turkey and has been baking for forty years, runs the Buket Cake shop in Auburn . Described in a review as a “star-turn,” the bakery also produces Turkish pizzas and pastries. Famed for his light, fluffy and fragrant loaves, Akturk’s secret ingredient is reputed to be his love of the trade. Akturk, who sells his bread to cafes and restaurants across Sydney , puts his success down to baking by hand, believing that as soon as bread making is mechanised the quality drops. While once Turkish bread was only available from specialty bakers like Akturk, today it is found alongside the sliced bread in supermarkets.

Stephanie Alexander 2004
by Simon Schluter
digital image
Courtesy of Fairfax photos  

Stephanie Alexander OA is an internationally celebrated cook, restaurateur and food writer, who ran the acclaimed Stephanie’s Restaurant for 21 years until its closure in 1997. An essential Melbourne experience, the restaurant was at the forefront of the culinary shift in Australia from French provincial and Mediterranean cuisines to a celebration of Australian cooking and ingredients. Alexander has published 10 cookbooks, including her classic The Cook’s Companion 1996, which has sold close to 300,000 copies. Described by Alexander as “the book for a lifetime of cooking”, an expanded version was released in October. Alexander, who is now a partner in the Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder, believes “there is no greater joy than sharing food, conversation and laughter around a table”.

Bacchus, the God of wine 1968
by Douglass Baglin
colour photograph (reproduced digitally)
Courtesy of Douglass Baglin

Beneath a mural of Bacchus, the god of wine, in the Angaston Hotel, Barossa Valley , South Australia , writer Ivor Roberts examines a bottle of Yalumba Galway Pipe with host Frank Nicholas. Ivor Roberts travelled extensively overseas as a medical officer where he says “he repeatedly met Australians who decried their national wines”. As a result, he teamed up with wine enthusiast, photographer and filmmaker Douglass Baglin to travel throughout Australia writing and researching the wine people and regions in Australia . Their book, Australian Wine Pilgrimage, was published in 1969. Douglass Baglin, now 77, lives in NSW and has kindly lent many of his photographs to the exhibition.

John Bailey 2002
by Rennie Ellis
gelatin silver photograph
Courtesy Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive  

John Bailey is a master cheese maker for the internationally renowned Lactos Cheese in Burnie , Tasmania . Lactos is Australia ’s most successful cheese producer with 40 per cent of the national market. It is our biggest exporter of cheese particularly to a growing Asian market with AUS $12 million in sales each year to Japan alone. Committed to not using genetically engineered ingredients or derived ingredients in the manufacture process, Lactos believes that Tasmania ’s clean environment and temperate climate are key to their success. Lactos’s cheese brands include Aussie Gold, Cradle Mountain , Delice De France, Mersey Valley , St Claire, Tasmanian Heritage and the famous Heidi Farm cheese, which is handcrafted by their master cheese makers using traditional European recipes.

William Bassett 1968
by Douglass Baglin
gelatin silver print
Courtesy Douglass Baglin  

Wine production first began on a commercial level in Queensland in the unlikely location of Roma, 450 kilometers north-west of Brisbane . The venture was founded by Samuel Bassett in 1863. After clearing the scrub, he ordered 10,000 cuttings which were delivered by bullock teams. When Samuel's son, William, took control of the company in 1912, Romavilla was a thriving business. William Bassett had received winemaking tuition from the great Leo Buring and his wines were highly sought-after. One of Romavilla’s employees was future Prime Minister Billy Hughes. A fter William's death in 1973, a group of Sydney businessmen purchased the property and production continued. T he vast majority of wine growing in Queensland is situated in the granite belt region around the towns of Stanthorpe and Ballandean. In recent years there have been considerable vineyard and winery developments around Kingaroy and in the Gold Coast hinterlands and the Sunshine Coast .

Mogens Bay Eebensen c. 1988
by unknown
colour photograph
Courtesy of the National Library of Australia

The Danish-born chef Mogens Bay Esbensen was instrumental in introducing Australian diners to Thai cooking. Born in 1930, he received classical training in Copenhagen and was executive chef at Denmark ’s Hotel de France by the age of 22. During the 1960s and early 70s he lived in Thailand , where he ran several Bangkok restaurants. In 1976 he came to Sydney to work at the Kings Cross Hyatt. He then ran a small restaurant of his own, La Causerie, before wowing Sydney diners as head chef at Pavilion on the Park. His signature dishes contained ingredients then unheard of in Australia – fish sauce, lemongrass, and new varieties of ginger. Between 1980 and 1990 he ran Butler ’s in Potts Point. He also ran Nautilus in Port Douglas. In 1991 he published the influential Thai Cuisine. In 1992 he returned to Denmark . At last report he was living on Laesø, a tiny island off the Danish coast.

Maggie Beer (with Luke Mangan) 2003
by Brendan Esposito
digital print
Courtesy of Fairfax photos

Maggie Beer grew up in Sydney ’s western suburbs, and travelled extensively overseas before settling in South Australia ’s Barossa Valley in 1973. With her husband Colin she established a small vineyard, a pheasant farm, and a shop to sell the birds to the public. The shop soon evolved into a nationally famed restaurant, The Pheasant Farm, which in 1991 was named Australian Gourmet Traveller’s Restaurant of the Year. In 1993, after 15 busy years of operation, Beer closed the restaurant to focus on producing her expanding range of gourmet foods. In 1999 Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop opened on the site of the original restaurant. The shop sells a wide range of Beer’s pâtés and condiments, as well as wines from her Pheasant Farm and Beer Brothers labels. Named 1997’s Telstra Businesswoman of the Year, Maggie Beer has published five books, including Maggie’s Farm, Maggie’s Orchard, and Tuscan Cookbook, co-authored with her friend Stephanie Alexander.

Ueli Berger , King Island Dairy 2003
by unknown
digital image
Courtesy King Island Dairy

King Island Dairy products are widely recognised as the benchmark for specialty cheese in the Australian market, replacing imported cheeses on many of our platters from the late 1980s. The company began as a co-operative in 1902, and the next 70 years saw a halting evolution through changes in the market and manufacturing, drought, product line changes and financial difficulties. In the late 1980s the company was sold to the King Island Company who immediately expanded distribution. The 1990s saw dozens of new products launched and by 2000 their cheeses were claiming prestige awards nationally and internationally. Swiss born Ueli Berger has been the head cheese maker since 2000. The awards his cheese has won over the last four years pay testament to his mastery.

Mark Best 2002
by Peter Budd
carbon digital print
Courtesy Peter Budd Photography

Mark Best’s restaurant Marques in Surry Hills is regarded as one of the finest in Sydney . Best received the Josephine Pignolet Award for 'Best Up and Coming Chef in NSW’ during his apprenticeship. His work in Sydney and overseas included a stint at Alain Passard’s Arpege Restaurant before establishing the French themed Marques Restaurant. Consistently awarded three Chefs Hats by The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, Marques is chic yet understated, while Best has a reputation for producing dishes that are both classical and innovative. He recently took over Moogbar, also in Surry Hills, installing Brent Savage – a graduate of Best's kitchen – as chef and concocting a menu that one reviewer described as “playful and full of whimsy”.

Gay Bilson 2004
by Peter Fisher
colour photograph
Courtesy of Peter Fisher Photography  

For several decades lauded as Australia ’s most influential food thinker and practitioner, Gay Bilson moved from Melbourne to Sydney with Tony Bilson and opened Bon Gout in Surry Hills in 1973. When their daughter became ill they moved out of the city finding the rundown café which became the groundbreaking Berowra Waters Inn. In the 1970s when Travel + Leisure listed the 100 best restaurants in the world, there was only one in Australia – Berowra Waters Inn. 30 kms north of Sydney, devoted patrons made the pilgrimage until it closed in 1995, Bilson then taking over Bennelong Restaurant at the Sydney Opera House. Berowra Waters Inn was also a training ground producing among others Anders Ousback, Sean Moran and Liz Nolan. Bilson now lives in the McLaren Vale district where she writes, gardens and cooks for friends. She recently published Plenty, a collection of essays.

Lady Florence Bjelke-Petersen
gelatin silver photograph
Courtesy of The Courier-Mail

Florence Bjelke-Petersen was born in Brisbane in 1920. She has been a National Party Senator for Queensland and is also well-known as the wife of former Queensland Premier, Joh Bjelke-Petersen. Perhaps her major claim to fame, however, is a simple recipe for pumpkin scones that took Australia by storm. The scones came to represent good, wholesome family values and fundraising events were simply not complete without a batch of Lady Flo’s scones. The reputation of these simple baked goods also extended internationally, with Prince Charles commenting during a visit to Queensland that his mother was very fond of them. When asked if she was concerned that most people connected her with pumpkin scones rather than her political career, Lady Flo philosophically acknowledged that the recipe actually helped her relate to a great number of Australian people “I always said that after I became a Senator, I hoped that they remembered me first for being a Senator who just happened to make pumpkin scones”.

Wolf Blass
by Joe Greenberg
watercolour, crayon, coloured pencil, ink, felt tip pen, gouache on paper
Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2001

Wolf Blass AM (b. 1934) is an icon of Australian winemaking. After 13 years in the European wine industry, the German born Blass migrated to the Barossa Valley in 1961 with 100 pounds in his pocket and a belief that he could "probably add something" to the wine industry here. Established in 1966, Wolf Blass Wines has won 3,000 awards at international and Australian wine shows. Wolf Blass Yellow Label and riesling rapidly became Australia ’s top selling wines, while the flagship Black Label shiraz helped establish Australian shiraz on the world wine map. In 1992 Blass was named International Winemaker of the Year by the International Wine and Spirit Competition and in 2000 he received the prestigious Maurice O'Shea award.

Clive Blazey
by Jane Varkulevicius
colour photograph
Courtesy Clive Blazey

Clive Blazey is the founder and managing director of the Digger’s Club which is Australia ’s largest gardening club with about 40,000 members. He is author of The Australian Vegetable Garden : what’s new is old and is presently working on The Australian Food Garden. Blazey and the Diggers Club are largely responsible for the rescue and re-introduction of heirloom vegetable seeds in Australia and are leading protagonists against the production and distribution of genetically engineered and hybrid crops. Clive and his wife Penny began the Diggers club in 1978 in their house at Albert Park. The company aims to “explore the relationship between growing and serving fresh food that is full of flavour, fresh and inspirational.”


Martin Boetz 2002
by Peter Budd
carbon digital print
Courtesy of Peter Budd Photography  

Martin Boetz is head chef and co-owner of the acclaimed and ultra hip Longrain in Surry Hills, one of the flagships of modern Thai food. Boetz, who worked with Thai maestro David Thompson at Darley Street Thai and ran Sailors Thai before opening Longrain in 1999, creates food that is a delicate blend of Thai and Southern Chinese influences. Passionate about Asian food, Boetz says “So many Asian ingredients are now grown in Australia and I have loved learning how to balance the hot, sour and salty to form one incredible taste''. In 2004 The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Awards nominated Longrain Best Thai Restaurant for a third time. Boetz has released two cookbooks – Longrain: Modern Thai Cooking and Modern Thai Food.

Walter Bourke 1994
by Rennie Ellis
colour photograph
Courtesy of Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive

Walter Bourke, who died prematurely in October 2003, established the popular Walter’s Wine Bar and Food and Wine Store at Southbank, Melbourne, in 1992. He first ventured into the restaurant scene with a small BYO in Carlton , Maria and Walter’s, which he ran with Maria, his Swedish wife. Previously both had successful careers as principal dancers internationally and with the Australian Ballet. Maria and Walter’s became a Melbourne success story. In the late 1980s Bourke also ran catering ventures in which his well-tutored children would often assist. His family’s later involvement at Walter’s Wine Bar enabled Walter Bourke to transfer its management into their hands after his illness was diagnosed.

Rosemary Brissenden 2003
by Heide Smith
gelatin silver photograph
Courtesy of Eureka Street

A cademic, author and accomplished cook, Rosemary Brissenden was raised in the Pacific. While studying political science at Melbourne University she visited Indonesia and was struck by the broad range of sweet, sour, salty, hot and bitter tastes. Back in Australia she searched for a cookbook in vain, seeking out Asian students instead. Brissenden pursued an academic career focussed on South East Asia at the Australian National University from 1958–1984, during which time she was invited to write a column on South East Asian cooking for The Australian. Feeling the need to acquaint herself more, in 1965 and heavily pregnant, she embarked on a six-week tour of Indonesia , Malaysia and Thailand . The first edition of South East Asian Food was published by Penguin in 1969, the first cookbook of its kind to be published in English. Numerous editions have followed.

Marieke Brugman and Sarah Stegely 2003
digital print
Courtesy of Marieke Brugman and Sarah Stegely

Marieke Brugman and Sarah Stegley run the famed Howqua Dale Gourmet Retreat near Mansfield in Victoria , which operates both as a luxury weekender and cooking school. A highly respected chef, writer, and presenter, Brugman was at the forefront of the culinary revolution in Australia . Her promotion of the quality and diversity of Australian produce is reflected in her food, which celebrates flavour, texture, regionality and the seasons, as well as combining classical techniques with contemporary tastes. Sarah Stegley, Brugman's partner, is regarded as a master of marrying wines with food, a great raconteur and a gifted host. Their cooking school, established in 1984, has showcased leading Australian and international chefs. They also run a company specializing in luxury gastronomic tours.

Gregory Bull 1997
by Peter Budd
carbon digital print
Courtesy of Peter Budd Photography

After cooking in some of Melbourne and London ’s top restaurants, Gregory Bull became executive chef at Port Douglas’s exclusive Nautilus in 1995. The stylish open-air restaurant has long been a haven for celebrity food-lovers: over the years its clientele has included Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart and Bill and Hillary Clinton. The restaurant’s impeccable reputation had been established back in the 1980s, when the legendary Danish-born chef Mogens Bay Esbensen bought it in partnership with the actress Diane Cilento, and made it a showcase for his innovative use of Thai and tropical ingredients. Greg Bull’s tenure at the restaurant lasted seven years until 2002. Since then he has worked as executive chef and caterer on board the M. V. Joe Joe, a luxury fishing cruiser that operates out of Port Douglas – a job that has allowed Greg to indulge his longstanding passion for fishing.

Joan Campbell 2003
by Marco Del Grande
digital print
Courtesy of Fairfax photos

Despite being considered the doyenne of food writers and referred to by such titles as the 'grande dame' and 'high priestess' , Joan Campbell claims to be "just a bush cook". Her natural flair for food and her sound appreciation of the Sydney food scene soon saw her business flourish. She began her career in food writing when invited by Ita Buttrose to take up the position of food writer for Cleo Magazine. In 1979 Campbell was approached by the editor-in-chief of Condé Naste Publications, to write for Vogue magazine. As food director for Vogue and Vogue Entertaining + Travel, Campbell has been deciding for decades what food should be featured and how it should look. She is famous for her love of fresh seasonal produce and her ability to provide Australians with culinary snapshots of other cultures.

Canberra celebrities
by Geoff Pryor
pen on paper
Courtesy of Albie Sedaitis

Canberra Times political cartoonist Geoff Pryor captured this celebrated group of Canberra restaurateurs who had donated their combined culinary skills to present ‘The Great Chefs Dinner’ at the Lobby Restaurant — one of two such fundraising events the group organised to support Canberra’s Open Family Foundation. Left to right (at that time): Mez O’Neill (Charlie’s Restaurant), Jenny Scott-Bohana (Mez O’Neill’s business partner), Daniel Collard (Chez Daniel), Albie Sedaitis (Fringe Benefits), Patrick Cavanagh (National Gallery Catering), Theo Moulis (Tower Restaurant), Fiona Wright (The Lobby Restaurant).

Philippa Cheffins 2002
by Rennie Ellis
gelatin silver photograph
courtesy of Rennie Ellis Archive

Philippa Cheffins is restaurant manager at Walter’s Wine Bar, Southbank, Melbourne - the popular wine bar and food and wine store established by Philippa’s father, Walter Bourke in 1991. His family’s involvement in the business allowed Bourke to transfer management into their hands the year before his premature death in October 2003. Philippa, who had been her father’s pastry cook, moved from the kitchen to become manager of the restaurant. Her husband, Daniel manages the food and wine store, and Philippa’s sister Camilla works front of house.

Elizabeth Chong 2000
by Jaime Murcia
digital print
Courtesy of Melbourne Weekly Magazine 

For many years Elizabeth Chong has shared her love of Chinese cuisine with Australian audiences. At her cooking school in Melbourne (established in 1961), through her television shows and her cookbooks she continues to be an influential advocate of traditional Chinese food. “This is good for the eyesight; that for prosperity. Chinese tradition explains every ingredient.” Chong comments that her family also influenced Australian taste at another level. Her father, William Wing Young - who established Wing Lee’s restaurant in Melbourne ’s Chinatown in 1945 - was the creator of the dim sim. “He chose the thick skin for ease of transport; he used to deliver them in his Chevy to the football … before long his factory was producing thousands for sale throughout Australia .”

Chui Lee Luk 2004
by Steven Siewert
digital print
Courtesy of Fairfax photos

As a young girl Chui Lee Luk came to Sydney from Sabah , Malaysia with her family. After studying law, Chinese literature and art, she worked as a lawyer for a year before determining that, intellectually and emotionally, it would be more satisfying to become a professional chef. She found it curious that so few women had reached the very top in the restaurant business in Australia , and she deliberately sought to work with female chefs. She was also intent on pursuing the possibility of combining her fascination with French cuisine and her Chinese identity, and eventually joined the team at Claude’s, Oxford Street Woollahra, where Tim Pak Poy had been creatively incorporating Asian influences and French techniques. After four years at Claude’s, and encouraged by Tim Pak Poy, Ms Luk acquired Claude’s in 2004, achieving her goal and the realisation of a dream.

Carlo Colaliacomo
by Brendan Read
digital print
Courtesy of Brendan Read

Carlo Colaiacomo is the name behind AC Butchery. “A meat boutique with a difference” is how Colaiacomo likes to think of his family business which is setting set new standards for meat retailing in Sydney . His father, also a butcher, trained in Rome , and Colaiacomo has continued the tradition by creating gourmet sausages and quality smallgoods. Recently Colaiacomo won the prestigious Australian Gourmet Traveller Jaguar award for his product range and quality.

Oyster farmers, Hawkesbury River 2004
by Robert Pearce
digital print
Courtesy of Fairfax photos

Geoff Collins and Arthur Cole work at the Douglas oyster leases at Marra Creek on the Hawkesbury River in New South Wales . By the time Captain Phillip arrived in Sydney Harbour in 1788, the Aboriginal population had been harvesting the native oysters for over 50,000 years. Growing naturally on the rocks and mangroves in estuaries along the eastern Australian coastline, native oysters are commonly known as Sydney Rock Oysters (Saccostrea glomerate). These oysters, grown in the clean waters of the Hawkesbury, are considered by many as the best in the world.

Luigi Coluzzi Snr (and friends) 2004
by Sahlan Hayes
colour photograph
Courtesy of Sahlan Hayes and The Sydney Morning Herald 

Luigi Coluzzi Snr set up one of Sydney ’s first espresso bars forever changing café culture and the nation’s coffee drinking habits. Coluzzi, an Italian athlete, came to Australia in 1956 to fight and win the Australian Middleweight Championship. The following year he and wife Elena opened Bar Coluzzi in William Street introducing Sydney-siders, brought up on instant coffee, to espressos, macchiatos and freshly ground coffee. Thirteen years later the café relocated to Darlinghurst where it continues to attract a cross section of customers from truck drivers to politicians, university students and property developers. Coluzzi retired in 1999, but still drops by to catch up with regulars and help out daughter Paola at Bar Coluzzi in Randwick . He feels he has a gift for coffee, “even as a boy in Rome I could make a good coffee” .

David Coomer 2002
by Jamie Syme
digital print
Courtesy of Kareen Coomer

In 1998 David Coomer set out to create a fine restaurant. In 2004 his Star Anise restaurant, Shenton Park , Perth , was awarded the highest ranking in the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The reviewer commented “David Coomer should congratulate himself on producing easily the best food in Perth .” The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2004 notes that he is “a fan of Mod Oz ( Asia meets, but doesn’t bend the Mediterranean )”. Coomer’s achievement was recognised in 2004 when he received one of the ‘40 Under 40’ awards, given each year to outstanding Western Australian entrepreneurs under the age of 40. In his restaurant a 3 metre metal sculpture of a star anise within a giant whisk is both an elegant symbol and a reflection of Coomer’s extra curricular interest in the visual arts. Works by Western Australian artists also feature at Star Anise.

Cooper & Sons 2004
by Peter Hoare
digital print
courtesy of SA Life 

In 1862 Thomas Cooper started his first brewery in Adelaide , ten years after arriving from Yorkshire . Since then, four generations of the Cooper family have been involved in brewing, sales and marketing, and managing the company. Cooper’s is Australia ’s sole remaining family-owned brewery and the company has always embraced tradition and innovation, brewing in the natural, traditional way while harnessing new technologies. The company is renowned for its stout, ale and lagers. At the end of the 1960’s Cooper’s began exporting beer to America . Cooper’s products are now marketed nationally and internationally in a determined way that has ensured the Cooper’s brand is well-known beyond its South Australian home. The company exports beers and ales to 17 countries and they are the largest producers of home brew kits in the world.

Brian Croser 1998
by Kate Gollings
gelatin silver photograph, selenium toned
Collection: National Portrait Gallery  

Brian Croser OA (b.1949) is one of Australia ’s premier winemakers and founder of the South Australian winery Petaluma . A firm believer in the French idea that wine carries a sense of region from which it originates, Croser was the first Australian wine maker to match grape varieties to regions and plant his vineyards accordingly. He began his career at Hardy's, before establishing Petaluma in 1976. Croser remains executive chairman of Petaluma despite a takeover by drinks giant Lion Nathan in 2001. Respected for his passionate and intellectual approach, Croser has mentored some of Australia ’s leading wine producers. Named Man of the Year 2004 by the UK magazine Decanter , he is now setting up a premium, multi-regional and multi-national winery.

Peter Cundall 2000
Courtesy of ABC Tasmania

Peter Cundall has been gardening since he was a child. He served in the British armed forces and in 1946 accidentally wandered over the border into Yugoslavia and was captured by Marshal Tito’s partisans. Charged with espionage by Yugoslavian authorities he was sentenced to four years imprisonment without a trial. After spending almost six months in solitary confinement in a tiny, unlit cell, swarming with lice and bedbugs at Ljubljana , he was released. In 1950 he enlisted in the Australian army as a means of getting here quickly. He started radio broadcasting in 1967 with one of the world's first gardening talkback programs from a Launceston commercial station. Since 1990 he has been the main presenter with the ABC's national Gardening Australia television program. He also conducts a state-wide, radio gardening talkback program each Saturday morning promoting the joys of gardening and the benefits of organic home-grown vegetables.

Serge Dansereau 2002
by Peter Budd
carbon digital print
Courtesy of Peter Budd Photography

Serge Dansereau was born in Quebec, Canada, and worked as a kitchen-hand in Montreal while studying professional cuisine at the city’s prestigious Institut de Tourisme et d’hôtellerie. In 1983 he became executive chef at Kable’s restaurant at Sydney ’s newly built Regent Hotel. Serge’s passion for new and exciting varieties of produce soon began to exert a telling influence on Australian taste. In 1989 the Herald’s Good Food Guide named him Sydney’s Chef of the Year. The Guide awarded Kable’s a maximum “three hats” the following year and later honoured Serge with a Special Award for Excellence “for his work in helping to redefine Australian cuisine.” In 1999 Serge left the Regent to become partner and head chef at The Bathers’ Pavilion at Balmoral Beach . The Pavilion swiftly established itself as a Sydney favourite, and in 2003 Serge became its sole owner.

Esse Quam Videri (Stefano de Pieri) 2003
by Andrea J. Smith
oil and gilded panel
Courtesy of the artist

Stefano de Pieri first came to national attention in 1999, as presenter of ABC TV’s A Gondola on the Murray. He had arrived in Melbourne from his native Italy in 1974, at the age of 19, with two great passions – food and politics. In the late 1970s he wrote for and ultimately edited the Italian-language newspaper Nuovo Paese. He then worked with Melbourne chef Raymond Fenech before joining Victoria ’s Department of Ethnic Affairs in 1984. Later he served as an adviser to Premiers John Cain and Joan Kirner. After a failed attempt to enter State Parliament himself in 1991 he returned to cooking, opening Stefano’s at the Mildura Grand Hotel. The restaurant is regularly awarded Three Hats by the Age’s Good Food Guide; in 2002 it was the first country restaurant to be named the Guide’s Restaurant of the Year. His TV series has yielded two accompanying books, and his latest book is Modern Italian Food.

Greg Doyle 2002
by Peter Budd
carbon digital print
Courtesy of Peter Budd Photography

Greg Doyle is the chef and owner of Pier Restaurant in Rose Bay , Sydney . He was discovered as a young chef at the Balmain Bakery and later opened Pulignys Restaurant, in Neutral Bay and then the Eastside Bar & Grill in Kings Cross. This bistro style of restaurant was at the forefront of a major swing towards a more relaxed dining scene in Sydney . He has carved out a reputation for sourcing the best and freshest ingredients and then preparing them in an innovative and inventive way. On weekends, Doyle swaps his apron for flameproof overalls, jumps into a Porsche and hits the motor racing circuit. In just his second season of competition, and just a handful of races, Greg has finished on the winner’s podium at every race. “Racing is a lot like being in the kitchen, it’s hot, fast and takes a high level of concentration.”

Peter Doyle Snr, Peter Doyle Jnr and family mid 1980s
gelatin silver photograph
Courtesy of the Doyle family

Peter Doyle worked as a fishing inspector on the NSW north coast before taking the helm at Doyle’s on the Beach, Australia ’s oldest and best-loved seafood restaurant. Over five generations of Doyles have run the iconic restaurant on its current Watson’s Bay site. Commanding superb views of Sydney Harbour , Doyle’s first opened in the early 1880s as tea rooms. Later, as the Ozone Café, it attracted diners from all over Sydney with its hot luncheons, which consisted of locally caught fish fried in beef dripping, with chips or mashed potatoes on the side. In recent years the Doyle family has added other fish restaurants to its empire: Doyle’s at Fisherman’s Wharf, Doyle’s at the Quay, and the more casual and affordable Doyle’s Bistro at the Sydney Fish Markets. Since suffering a stroke in 1995 Peter Doyle has been an active participant in stroke awareness programs, advising the Australian public to avoid stress and ‘eat more fish.’ He died in December 2004.

Peter Doyle
by Peter Budd
carbon digital print
Courtesy of Peter Budd Photography

Peter Doyle has been described as a “home grown legend”, an “inspiration to the industry” and a “founding father of modern Australian cuisine”. He has spent more than 30 years on the Sydney restaurant scene, presiding over the stoves at Turrets in the city, Reflections at Palm Beach, Le Trianon and Cicada at Potts Point, Celsius in the city, and his latest restaurant, est. at Establishment Hotel, North Sydney, for which Doyle has already achieved 3 stars in the 2005 Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. Of his trademark style he comments “I like the interplay of classic harmonious flavours enhancing the principal ingredient. Restraint and simplicity are important qualities for a perfectly cooked dish.” He has observed that chefs today follow their preferred styles more than in the late 1980s and early 1990s when “everybody was trying to be everything to everybody”.

Ross Dudgeon ( Mindil Beach Markets) 1999
by Brendan Read
colour digital photograph
Courtesy of Brendan Read  

Ross Dudgeon is credited with the formation of the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets in Darwin that are currently in their 18th year. The markets are held in the top end’s dry season (April- October) every year on Thursday and Sunday evenings. In an idyllic setting with a shady canopy of monsoon vine forest trees and a grove of coconut palms, the markets are illuminated each evening as the sun sets over the beach. Mouthwatering aromas accompany the beautiful view as over 60 food stalls prepare cuisine from over 20 countries.  The variety of food available is superbly multicultural and includes spicy Asian dishes, traditional Greek, Italian, English or South American food, crocodile, buffalo and barramundi from the Northern Territory and mouth-watering spreads of tropical fruits, juices and desserts. All the food at the stalls is prepared on the spot using traditional methods giving visitors a real taste of authentic cooking methods and flavours.

Don Dunstan c.1976
by unknown
colour photograph
Courtesy of the National Library of Australia

Donald Dunstan (1926 – 1999) was born in Fiji . After practicing law, he became involved in politics and was elected Premier of South Australia in 1970. As Premier he championed hospitality, the wine industry and the arts in Adelaide . Dunstan introduced changes in legislation which created a restaurant boom in the 1970s – extending drinking hours and making outdoor eating and cellar door sales possible. In 1976 Dunstan released a self-titled cookbook. Following his retirement from politics in 1979 due to ill-heath, Dunstan established Don's Table Restaurant, in Norwood , South Australia with partner Steven Cheng. The restaurant opened in 1994, situated in a beautifully restored historic house amidst grounds including an orchard and beds of culinary herbs which Dunstan landscaped himself. The restaurant closed after Dunstan’s death in 1999.

Petty’s Hotel, Sydney, 6pm, 1941
by Max Dupain
gelatin silver photograph
Courtesy of the Max Dupain exhibition negative archive

Until 1955, pubs in New South Wales closed at 6pm . The limited time after work to drink was called the ‘six o‘clock swill’. “Time, gentlemen please!” was called – there were few women – and as many beers as possible were bought and downed in a ten minute frenzy of guzzling. This ritual was repeated across the state’s many hundreds of pubs and hotels and it become the hallmark of a society that encourage the worst kind of drinking all in the name of promoting sobriety.

Chickens for sale, Little Collins Street , Melbourne , 1946
by Max Dupain
gelatin silver photograph
Courtesy of the Max Dupain exhibition negative archive

Without the modern convenience of refrigeration, it was not an unusual sight to see in the early morning freshly slaughtered chickens and other animals being delivered to shops and restaurants ready for the day’s sales.

Jill Dupleix
2004 by Petrina Tinslay
colour photograph
Courtesy of Petrina Tinslay Photography

Jill Dupleix was born on a sheep farm in Victoria . She worked as an advertising copywriter for eight years before being offered the position of food editor of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Melbourne Age for six years from 1994 to 2000. Dupleix and husband Terry Durack also edited the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide during this period. In 2000, Dupleix was offered the position of The Times Cook with The Times in London . This was a great honour for the Australian food writer as there have only been three previous Times Cooks since the position was established in 1955. Less than two years later, The British Guild of Food Writers in their Annual Awards named Dupleix Cookery Writer of the Year. Dupleix has written 12 cookbooks throughout her career, including Simple Food 2002, New Food 1993 and its sequel Old Food 1998.

Terry Durack 2003
by Marco Del Grande
colour photograph
Courtesy of Fairfax photos

Terry Durack’s love of food began when he tasted his first oyster at age six. From that day on, so great was his desire to experience all things culinary that he claims have once “stolen a piece of salami from an ashtray in the laundromat”. Starting his career as an advertising copywriter, Durack moved into the field of food criticism. He writes reviews for The Sydney Morning Herald as well as editing, with his wife Jill Dupleix, the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide (1994-2000). Durack currently lives and works in London as a restaurant critic for TheIndependent newspaper and often contributes to several international journals and guides such as Fodor's International and American Food and Wine. The author of many specialist cuisine books, such as Noodle 2000 and Hunger 2000, Durack is currently working on a book about food and how it relates to the senses.

Bruno Ehrensperger 2003
by Richard Briggs
digital print
Courtesy of The Canberra Times

Bruno Ehrensperger, artisan, baker, pastry cook and confectioner, wasborn in Winterhur , Switzerland . He completed an apprenticeship in Zurich , then worked in Lugano before coming to Australia in 1983. After four months in Adelaide he left to see Australia . Returning south from Queensland , he discovered Canberra and stayed. The small suburban Narrabundah shop where he established Bruno’s Truffels became a ‘destination’ for Canberrans over the following 20 years. In the first years Bruno made truffles, wedding cakes and shortbreads, while building a repertoire of chocolates. Today he makes more than 50 kinds of truffles and pralines. In 1991 he took over the adjacent shop at Narrabundah, and began producing the many types of breads and pastries. In June 2004 Bruno’s Truffels relocated to larger premises in Canberra , at Mawson.


Len Evans 1978
by Jon Lewis
black and white digital print
Collection: National Portrait Gallery

Len Evans AO is a wine producer, judge and writer. Hailed as the godfather of the Australian wine industry, his passionate promotion of Australian wine has influenced the nation’s drinking habits and established our wines internationally. In the early 1960s he exposed suburban Australia to wine-tastings and wrote Australia ’s first regular wine column for The Bulletin. Evans founded the Australian Wine Bureau in 1965 and in 1973 published the first major encyclopedia of Australian wine. He ran Rothbury Estate in the Hunter Valley for almost 30 years and was Chairman of Petaluma from 1978 until 1992. He now runs Tower Estate Winery maintaining a reputation for world-class wine. The recipient of numerous accolades in his field, Evans was awarded the OBE in 1982 and the AO for his services to the wine industry and charity.


Teage Ezard 2002
by Rennie Ellis
gelatin silver photograph
Courtesy of Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive

Teage Ezard, one of Australia ’s boldest and most innovative young chefs, apprenticed under Hermann Schneider at Melbourne ’s Two Faces restaurant before serving as head chef at Guernica for five years. In 1999 he became executive chef at Ezard at Adelphi. Situated in Melbourne’s Adelphi Hotel, Ezard’s was named best new restaurant in the Age’sGood Food Guide for 2001; in 2003 it was awarded Three Hats for the second year running, and Ezard himself was named Chef of the Year. Ezard, who calls his style of cookery ‘Australian freestyle’, cites Thai and Chinese cuisine as two of his prime influences. In 2003 he published the cookbook ezard 2003, designed to challenge readers to broaden the boundaries of home cooking. He was recently signed to create a new restaurant and café for Hong Kong ’s JIA Hotel.

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