* A huge congratulations to Jock for recently winning the Basque Culinary World Prize for his work championing Australian indigenous culture and culinary traditions. Announced at an event in Modena, Italy, the Basque Culinary World Prize is described as “an award for chefs improving society through gastronomy”. Read more.
A conversation with an aboriginal man in 1997 changed Jock’s life and the fate of Australia’s Indigenous cuisine forever. He was on a sabbatical from Restaurant Marco Pierre White, where they had just won a third Michelin star, when his trip to Sydney became the turning point in what has been a 17-year journey to discover the taste and origins of Australian cuisine.
He returned to London, working with Marco Pierre White, Damien Hirst and David Cavalier, before returning to Australia in 2000 as Head Chef of Restaurant 41.
Working through his fascination and respect for native ingredients, Jock opened Restaurant Orana in 2013 changing and challenging the way we eat, use, and regard our Indigenous native ingredients. In 2017 Restaurant Orana was named Australia’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year by Gourmet Traveller, and in 2017 Jock was named Australia’s 2018 Hottest Chef by The Australian.
His understanding and sensitivity with Indigenous communities has seen him host Discovery Channel’s Nomad Chef which aired in over 200 countries, and QTV/Discovery Channel’s Chef Exchange which aired into 180 countries.
Jock is the Founder and Creative Culinary Director of The Orana Foundation, the non-for-profit organisation he founded in 2016. The Foundation is inspired by the first Australians’ unique relationship with the land and sophisticated knowledge of traditional food culture. Its purpose is to preserve and evolve Australian food culture, advocate progressive policies for Australian ingredients, assist indigenous enterprise, and create and innovate through research and development.