These Australian Chefs Are Making Waves Overseas

australian chef overseas

Australians love to travel and experience different cultures, so it’s no surprise many of our chefs live overseas. A testament to the culinary training and kitchen experience they can develop on our shores, some have opened their own restaurants, while others have earned themselves executive chef titles.

Ahead, we’re rounding up 10 of the most noteworthy overseas-based Australian chefs. From the biggest Aussie ex-pat chef name, Curtis Stone, to the lesser known, but equally impressive kitchen connoisseurs in locations including London, Shanghai and Tokyo, these are the

Shaun Hergatt, NYC

Shaun Hergatt started his culinary career at age 17 with a four-year apprenticeship at fine-dining French restaurant Crystal Twig in Cairns. He then worked at The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton in Sydney before moving to the hotel chain’s New York City Central Park restaurant. Today, he’s the executive chef or owner of venues around the US, including Vestry, Aqua Seafood and Caviar Restaurant, The Dominick in 432 Park Avenue, and Anthem Hotel in Georgia.

Dan Churchill, NYC

Though Dan Churchill only placed 8th on MasterChef Australia in 2013, he’s gone to become one of the country’s most well-known overseas culinary talents. Churchill heads the kitchen at pop-up The Osprey, housed in 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. The menu highlights Australian indigenous cooking techniques.

Curtis Stone, LA

Among Aussie chefs making waves overseas, Curtis Stone is easily one of the most known. The Melbourne-born, LA-based chef has authored six cookbooks and made countless TV appearances in the US and UK. He owns LA restaurant Maude, with a menu inspired by California produce, and butcher’s shop and restaurant Gwen.

Dave Pynt, Singapore

Born in Perth, Dave Pynt studied commercial cooking at TAFE West Coast Institute of Training before moving overseas to learn from and work alongside some of the world’s best cooks, including Tetsuya Wakunda of Tetsuya’s and Rene Redzepi of Noma. Currently, he’s the chef-patron of Burnt Ends, an award-winning Australian barbecue restaurant in Singapore’s Chinatown.

Brett Graham, London

In February 2024, Brett Graham won three Michelin stars for his restaurant The Ledbury in Notting Hill, UK. The feat makes him the first Australian chef and co-owner of a restaurant to win three stars. Born in Newcastle, NSW, Graham started his career working at a fish restaurant at age 15 before moving to Sydney to work at restaurant Banc, now closed.

Scott Hallsworth, London

Born in a small WA town called Collie, Scott Hallsworth got his cooking start with an apprenticeship at a hotel restaurant in Bunbury. From there, he worked in kitchens in Cairns, Toronto and Chamonix, France before landing a gig at Nobu in London. Today, he owns restaurant Freakscene with locations in London’s West End and Parsons Green.

Skye Gyngell, London

Born in Sydney, Skye Gyngell worked as a food editor at Vogue, trained as a chef in France and won a Michelin star at the Petersham Nurseries Café, located in London suburb, Richmond. In 2014, she opened Spring, a restaurant in London’s Somerset House, which she still owns and works at today.

Matthew Crabbe, Tokyo

Sydney-born chef Matthew Crabbe started his career as sous chef at Tetsuya’s before going on to work at Michelin-starred restaurants and venues within five-star hotels in the US, UK and Mexico. In 2009, he founded ECN Hospitality in Tokyo. The hospitality group owns Two Rooms Grill Aoyama, Two Rooms Nihombashi and Ruby Jack’s Steakhouse and Bar.

Sarah Todd, Mumbai

Sarah Todd became known in Australia after appearing on MasterChef Australia’s sixth season in 2014. She then moved to India and has primarily based herself there since. In 2022, she returned to the show in its 14th season, which featured a mix of returning and new contenders. She’s the owner and head chef at fine-dining restaurant The Sanctuary Bar and Kitchen in India’s Goa and Hyderabad.

Craig Willis, Shanghai

Craig Willis is a chef and co-founder of Mr Willis Shanghai, an Australian restaurant chain in China. His appreciation for simple, well-cooked food stretches back to his childhood in northern NSW, surrounded by fresh produce and home cooking. He spent 10 years cooking in Sydney restaurants, following by stints in France and Australia’s Lord Howe Island before arriving in Shanghai in 2000.

Michelle Garnaut, Shanghai

After graduating from Monash University, Michelle Garnaut started her career as a restauranteur in China. In 1989, she opened M at the Fringe in Hong Kong and in 1991, launched M on the Bund in Shanghai. In 2009, she set her sights on Beijing with Capital M on Tiananmen Square. Today, her hospitality group M Restaurant Group includes M on the Bund and Shanghai dining lounge Glam.

Geoff Lindsay, Bali

In 2005, Geoff Lindsay was named Chef of the Year by The Age Good Food Guide and in 2011, he opened Melbourne restaurant Dandelion with his wife. He’s currently the executive chef and co-owner of Saigon Street in Bali. Its menu showcases South East Asian flavours made with European cooking techniques.

Penelope Williams, Bali

Penelope Williams is an Australian chef, living in Bali. She’s the executive chef and owner of Bali Asli Restaurant and Cooking School in the East of Bali, at the foothills of Mount Agung. The eatery and cooking school aims to promote Balinese cuisine and culture without exploiting its people.

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