Where the top chefs eat when they visit Australia

Dave Pynt of Burnt Ends, David Thompson of Nahm and Brett Graham of The Ledbury give us their culinary hotspots. Where the top chefs eat when they visit Australia
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Where the top Australian chefs eat when they visit home

Dave Pynt of Burnt Ends, David Thompson of Nahm and Brett Graham of The Ledbury give us their culinary hotspots. 

By Laura Price

Australians aren’t shy when it comes to promoting their country’s virtues – the beach, the sunshine, the don’t-take-yourself-too-seriously approach and, of course, the wonderful food and wine. So for the handful of 50 Best chefs who live permanently abroad, we wondered what they spent their time lusting after.

We asked Australian ex-pats Dave Pynt of Burnt Ends, David Thompson of Nahm and Brett Graham of The Ledbury to give us their go-to places and – most importantly – things to eat when they visit their hometowns.

Find out more about these culinary hotspots


Chef hometown: Perth, Western Australia
Time away from Australia: 6 ½ years

Home-cooked meal that most reminds me of growing up: The family barbecue. Whether it's a mustard-crusted beef rump on the rotisserie or whole fish on the barbecue, it's always a meal I crave.
Favourite coffee shops and restaurants discovered in Australia since leaving: There are too many to list – in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Tasmania. It's such an exciting time to be eating around Australia at the moment.
Hidden gems in Perth and the surrounding area: It may not be so hidden but I always love visiting the Little Creatures brewery or heading to the Yallingup bakery post surf and devouring a freshly baked fruit loaf.
Dish that sums up where I’m from: I don’t think one dish sums up Perth, but rather having a barbecue at the beach with friends and family in summer is a must.


Chef hometown: Newcastle, New South Wales
Time away from Australia:
 17 years

First thing I do when I go back to Newcastle: Have breakfast at Mereweather Beach then swim in the ocean. I miss the open sea.
First meal I eat back in New South Wales: I always stop with my parents at Bill’s in Surry Hills for the sweetcorn fritters. I like to have lunch at Quay, which has one of the most amazing views anywhere. Peter Gilmore is a phenomenal chef and I love his cooking.
Something no tourist should leave without trying: Fish and chips on Newcastle Harbour while watching the coal ships come in.
Favourite coffee shops and restaurants discovered in Australia since leaving: The food and coffee scene in Newcastle has improved so much since I lived there. Places like Muse RestaurantSubo and Restaurant Mason have shown the way.
Hidden gems in New South Wales and the surrounding area: In Hunter Valley it has to be Robert Molines at Bistro Molines. It’s a very special place with food cooked by a very special man.


Chef hometown: Sydney, New South Wales (although Bangkok is my real home)
Time away from Australia: 30 years

First thing I do when I go back to Sydney: I love walking through the botanical gardens, usually starting from the top of the Domain, near the Art Gallery, then down to the harbour and around to the Opera House. It’s a stirring stroll and one that makes me fall in love with Sydney’s beauty each and every time. 
First thing I eat when I go home: Well, Bangkok is home. I have lived there on and off for nigh on 30 years. But Sydney food… well, there’s just so much and at every style and level, though I confess I have not been able to enjoy such places as much as I would like to. Opening up Long Chim [in Sydney] has eaten up all my time, which means I have not had the chance to eat what I’d like. 
Home-cooked meal that most reminds me of growing up: The smell of Worcestershire sauce sprinkled over golden roast chicken fresh from the oven is my madeleine moment: one that transports me ambrosial to my mother’s kitchen. 


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