None of this would work without the chefs already changing the local culinary landscape. They support us as local chef-ambassadors, selecting up-and-coming local sous- and station chefs to work with the visiting chefs, providing sourcing help for the best local products and generally helping make it all happen:
Alejandro Cancino, Executive Chef, Urbane Restaurant
Born in Argentina, Alejandro has a diverse experience in some of the worlds top restaurants. He worked in the world’s fourth ranked restaurant, Mugaritz in Spain, in addition to winning Young Chef of the Year in the U.K. in 2008. During Alejandro’s tenure at Bulgari Hotels in Tokyo they secured a Michelin Star. He since joined Urbane Brisbane as Executive Chef for both Urbane and The Euro.
Alejandro was honoured by Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards for Best New Talent, in addition to being named Chef of the Year 2013 by The Good Food Guide: "Fresh to our shores, Argentina-born Alejandro Cancino, a former UK young chef of the year, is certainly new. And talented? The delicacy of his touch is remarkable, and his ability to coax flavour from ingredients impressive, speaking, perhaps, of his experience at the likes of Mugaritz in Spain and Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in the UK. One to watch."
Ben Williamson, Head Chef, Gerard's Bistro
Born, bred and trained in Western Australia, Ben Williamson's early culinary career spanned work in Perth followed by a stint at Sydney's Stamford Plaza in 2001. Ben was then recruited by Gulf Air, relocating to Bahrain to create and deliver the in-flight menu for first-class passengers. Several years in the role saw him travelling widely, working with renowned chefs around the world. Returning to Perth in 2006, he joined the primo Ultimo Catering Co as Senior SousChef.
2009 saw Ben relocate to Brisbane to work with several of the city’s most highly acclaimed and awarded restaurants. He initially teamed up with 1889 Enoteca, subsequently took the helm at Cha Cha Char and Organic Char (earning top marks in the Courier Mail’s restaurant rankings). In 2011, he joined the cutting edge team at Urbane/The Euro, only to take on the challenge of launching Gerard's Bistro in 2012. Gerard’s is the culmination of everything he knows and loves about food and dining. Nominated for Best New Talent 2014 by the Gourmet Traveller, Ben also ensured that Gerard's picked up Brisbane Times Best New Restaurant in the 2013 as well as Hottest Restaurant QLD in The Australian Hot 50 Restaurant Awards 2013.