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Mark Best- Great Chefs Series 2017
Fri. 28 July 2017, 7:15 pm – 10:30 pm AEST
BIOGRAPHY OF MARK BEST
Mark Best started by discovering the stoves accidentally and ended up becoming an unquestionable symbol of the new Australian Cuisine. His perseverance and his ‘eternal dissatisfaction’ (as he calls it himself) are the vitamins for his spectacular personal development.
“I live in a melting pot of new ideas and cultures,” says Mark Best. “We do not have the shackles of culinary history; we are free to be inventive, spirited, adaptive and progressive.”
“Australia is geographically part of Asia and this allows an extraordinary cross pollination of people, ideas and culture gives Australian cuisine its unique flavour”
“I aim to bring, the extraordinary produce of Australia, to a point of celebration and unnatural expression”.
These words accurately describe Best’s approach to cooking. It is food, focussed on flavour, with - artisanal techniques & technology at the service of the ingredient.
Mark Best started his working life as an electrician in the gold mines of Western Australia before starting his culinary career at the age of 25. He commenced an apprenticeship at the Macleay Street Bistro, Potts Point, in 1990. This was the beginning of his passion for French food. It was the heyday of modern Australian cuisine – the fusion of European techniques and ingredients with the flavours of the Asian region – and a flourishing time for Sydney’s food scene.
In 1995 Best won the annual award for Sydney’s best young chef, The Josephine Pignolet Award.
In 1995, he opened his own restaurant, Peninsula Bistro, Balmain, which soon developed a strong local following and rave critical acclaim. During this time he decided to further his study of French Cuisine in France. In 1998 he worked at ‘L’Arpége’ in Paris, [under Pascal Barbot] and Alain Passard’s three Michelin Star Gastro Temple. He followed this with a stint at Raymond Blanc’s, ‘Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons’ in Great Milton, UK. His time overseas fuelled his desire to start another restaurant. Marque opened in 1999.
Mark Best has won Chef of the Year in the annual Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, Restaurant of the Year in Australian Gourmet Traveler, Sydney Morning Herald, Time Out magazine and in the Restaurant and Catering Association’s Awards for Excellence. Marque has also featured for three years running in the San Pellegrino & Restaurant Magazine’s-Worlds 50 Best commencing with the 2010 “Breakthrough award”
Mark also owns Pei Modern, Melbourne and Sydney, an award winning contemporary bistro.