Festival Chefs

Adam D’Sylva – Tonka and Coda, Melbourne

Adam D’Sylva, now established as one of Australia’s most prominent chefs, credits his success to his time spent as executive chef of Coda and Tonka restaurants. These two venues, now intrinsic to Melbourne’s culinary scene, have been awarded and maintained One Chef’s Hat in The Age Good Food Guide since their inception.

Adam’s interest in cooking began as a child growing up in a mixed Indian/Italian family where his mother was a major influence on his decision to follow his passion for cooking. “I fell in love with food from an early age. My nonna and aunty looked after us when we were young and always let us cook and eat with them,” notes Adam.

When describing Coda Adam says “I wanted to achieve an atmosphere that is relaxed but also serves good food and wine in an unstructured way… Coda is a reflection of my heritage and what I have cooked in the past, a celebration of all my influences.”

In 2013 the trio opened Tonka on the former site of iconic nightclub Honky Tonks at 20 Duckboard Place. Like Coda, Tonka’s menu is designed with a passion for enhancing seasonal ingredients in a modern and accessible way. Though at Tonka Adam looks more to his paternal heritage and celebrates the vibrancy of Indian techniques and flavours.

Adam loves working in Melbourne’s CBD and feels fortunate to have witnessed the change in the culinary landscape since Coda first opened. With two restaurant’s right in the middle of the golden mile Adam’s cooking has become an integral part of the cosmopolitan Melbourne dining scene.

With expert television appearances on all of Australia’s major networks and a regular presence at Australia’s best food and wine festivals, Adam has rightfully secured his place amongst the heavy hitters of Australia’s internationally recognised dining scene.


Dominique Rizzo – Putia Pure Food Kitchen, Brisbane

Dominique Rizzo is one of Queensland’s leading female chefs who creates purely delicious, healthy and real food recipes that inspire people to make a change for the better while still loving their food. Embracing 20 years’ experience as a chef and restaurateur, Dominique is able to share her abundant knowledge around Australia. Through her public speaking, cooking classes, cooking presentations and demonstrations, recipe writing, food styling, radio and Television work Dominique focuses not only on her true passion for Italian and Sicilian food culture but she also incorporates an emphasis on all cuisines celebrating Australia’s amazing melting pot of a multicultural kitchen.

Dominique’s passion for all things purely food, coming together, connecting and sharing has led her into her new venture Putia: Pure Food Kitchen, School and Pantry which opened in October 2014. Located on Brisbane’s north side in the hub of Banyo, an emerging urban hot spot.

Amidst her many talents, Dominique is fighting her own war on waste in the Putia garden where she is getting her hands dirty in the real world of composting and harvesting.  This is garden to plate, as you haven’t seen it before.

Dominique’s passion for pure food took on a new twist with this venture, her vegetable and herb garden at her restaurant Putia Pure Food Kitchen. Recycling, composting and worm farming are just some of the sustainable practices in place to minimize water and food waste.

Further afield, Dominique’s experience and knowledge of food extends beyond Australia to her exclusive, gastronomical food, wine, cooking and culture bespoke tours of the Mediterranean region of Europe. Dominique’s relaxed, up-beat presenting style is unparalled due to her personal backyard-veggie-garden stories and her commitment to eating seasonal, eating local produce and eating sustainable seafood, the values by which Dominique runs her restaurant and cooking school and grows her garden. Dominique is also starting a new venture with her fiancé’ blending her skills for food and his for fine wine and cocktails in a bespoke wine bar next door to Putia called “ Clapham Junction”  due to open in November 2017.


Glen Barratt – Wild Canary, Brisbane

Glen’s love for creating tasty food in the kitchen started as a young child making biscuits and cakes at home.

Looking for more of a challenge he started cooking meals for family taking an interest in French cuisine as well as growing fresh herbs to flavour his creations. During this time an understanding of companion planting and organic techniques developed growing healthy plants with optimum results.
Wanting to pursue his hobby as a career Glen did work experience in the kitchen at Michaels Riverside Restaurant during his school holidays where he was offered an apprenticeship which he completed at this venue. With over two decades of experience in some of Brisbane’s most iconic restaurants, the most recent being five years as Head Chef at Restaurant II, Glen is now enjoying his dream job where he gets to mix his two passions.

Wild Canary Botanical Bistro is situated within the grounds of The Brookfield Garden Center and is lucky enough to have a kitchen garden which provides fresh herbs, edible flowers, fruits and vegetables to the kitchen. Plantings are done in conjunction with local farmers reflecting the coming crops and demonstrating growth habits of these plants. Producers Lunches are regularly held showcasing the bountiful supply of local produce from surrounding regions.

A keen supporter of farmers markets, local produce and permaculture, living in the Samford Valley with his wife and five children has further invigorated his passion with an ever-growing organic garden.

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Matt Golinski, Chef and Regional Food Ambassador

Matt Golinski is a highly regarded, professional chef with a passion for creating cuisine using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients.

Well known as one of the original team members of the popular ‘Ready Steady Cook’ television series, Matt has worked as executive chef at some of Queensland’s leading restaurants and founded his own catering company.

Based on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Matt now enjoys working as a consulting chef to restaurants, being a regular guest chef at festivals and events and writing his popular food columns and blog.  He is also an active member of the Slow Food movement and a motivational speaker.
When away from the saucepans Matt enjoys sharing his love of cooking and helping others through his roles as Food and Culinary Tourism Ambassador for the Gympie (QLD) region and Ambassador for Foundation H – a not-for-profit organisation helping people living with disabilities.

He is also a keen runner and in August 2015 completed his first full length marathon.


Nicole Stevenson – Masterchef 2017

2017 Masterchef contestant Nicole Stevensen has a passion for healthy eating and nutrition which drives her to create fresh and healthy food with hearty flavours in the kitchen.

Inspired by a range of chefs and cooks including Kylie Kwong, Heston Blumenthal, Luke Nguyen, Jamie Oliver and Adam Liaw, Nicole says she has been cooking in the kitchen as long as she can remember. She loves to cook big and bold tastes, with favoured cuisines including Vietnamese, Italian and Mexican.

Shane Bailey – Noosa Boathouse, Noosaville

Chef Shane Bailey began his initial culinary career at quintessential Melbourne restaurant Donovan’s for almost 10 years.

He then travelled and worked in the UK and New York before settling in Noosa in 2004. Shane worked as Executive chef at both Berado’s restaurants and for Noosa Food and Wine Festival for 8 years as well as judging Delicious Magazine’s Produce Awards.

Chef Shane Bailey joined Noosa Boathouse in 2013 and believes that a good menu should change with the seasons and reflect the place in which it was created. Here his modern Australian menu, with an Asian influence utilises the super-fresh tropical ingredients this region has to offer, including the abundance of fresh seafood, quality beef and locally harvested produce.

Shane has created a relationship with local farmers and fisherman, sourcing his produce from over 30 suppliers, giving him the best quality product available and a menu that is enhanced by what they have to offer. Where possible, Shane will always source from Noosa and Qld first, now that he considers himself a local.

Shane is also head consulting chef for Beef Australia 2018, coordinating the international celebrity chef program for the largest Beef event in the Southern Hemisphere. He is also currently in his 5 th year as the executive chef for Capricorn Food and Wine festival.


Capricorn Chefs

Michael Nelson – Beaches Restaurant, Roslyn Bay

Michael believes a menu should have relevance, variety and expert delivery.

Backed by a talented and energetic team of professionals, the calibre of food that leaves the Beaches kitchen never ceases to impress.Michael has worked in the restaurant industry for over 20 years and has gathered influences from around the world – in particular South East Asia and Melbourne. Now balancing his craft to include the fresh local tastes of Queensland, his menus are designed to reflect the location, focusing on the fresh seafood and world-famous beef sourced from the best suppliers, right on our doorstep.

Michael enjoys playing a key role in the resort’s Wellness Retreats and looks forward to his kitchen’s involvement in the region’s first organic “paddock to plate” menu from the company’s own permaculture farm, High Valley Dawn Organic Farm.

Catch his cooking demo on the Festival Theatre mainstage, or try some of his scrumptious food from Beaches pop up kitchen in the Festival grounds.


Roel Van Camp, Rockhampton

Roel Van Camp will make his Capricorn Food and Wine Festival “debut” in 2017!

Favouring modern European cuisine with Asian influences, Roel has definitely made his mark on Rockhampton’s food scene and is a big supporter of local and sustainable produce.


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