In celebration of the 21st Anniversary of Dilmah, the company launched an innovative programme where in July 2008, eight celebrated chefs and restaurateurs from prestigious Australian establishments visited Sri Lanka and filmed a television series titled ‘The Chefs and the Tea Maker.’

DAMIAN HEADSDamian started his career in the kitchens at the Brisbane Hilton. Upon completing his apprenticeship Damian began his travels to Europe. Amid travelling Damian worked at Bank, one of London’s hippest restaurants and Marriott County Hall. Whilst there, Damian competed in the prestigious cooking competition, the Academie Culinaire de France, and was one of just two finalists from South East England.

In 2000 Damian moved back to Sydney and worked at Bennelong Restaurant in the Sydney Opera House and then Milsons. In 2002 he was awarded the Josephine Pignolet Award for Best Young Chef. In 2005 Damian joined Pony and is now their head chef. He is also a regular chef on Channel 10s “Ready, Steady, Cook”.

David PughChef David Pugh’s continual search for the best available fresh produce provides his inspiration and the basis of the menu at Restaurant Two. David is acclaimed for working rare and premium produce from carefully sourced suppliers. His use of classic technique combined with these fine ingredients and thoroughly modern flair are what place Restaurant Two at the forefront of contemporary Australian cuisine.

David is known for his down to earth attitude and approach to food. His love of cooking emerged at age eight when he would treat his parents to Sunday breakfast. Since then, David has worked with some of the world’s finest chefs, including a two year stint at London’s Connaught Hotel, drawing inspiration and skill from each and every encounter. Ten years ago David joined Michael at Two Small Rooms prior to putting in place their ‘ideal’ Restaurant Two.

Jason Rodwell In the United Kingdom Jason had the opportunity to work under David Thompson at the Michelin starred Nahm in London’s Halkin Hotel and also to work under Gordon Ramsay in his signature restaurant. Upon his return to Canberra, he started working at Courgette with James Mussillon and nine months later was appointed as the Head Chef at Aubergine – one of Mussillon’s restaurants.

Jodie Marie WallaceJodie became the Head Chef of a ‘hatted’ restaurant at the age of 24. Commencing her apprenticeship at the age of 17 at MG Garage in Surry Hills, Jodie has had the privilege of working with some of Sydney’s most respected chefs. Her passion for food and creativity is distinct in the seasonal menus she creates for Flying Fish.

Johnny TriscariSon of Sicilian parents, Chef Johnny Triscari was born in Perth and steeped in his family’s rural heritage. Triscari’s cooking has brought new life to the food at Chloe’s. Classically trained under the legendary pioneer of Italian fine dining in Perth, Chef Umberto Cipro, Triscari did his apprenticeship at the very famous Julio’s. Triscari brings those refined cooking techniques and his own Italian heritage to the Chloe’s kitchen.

Paul BrownPaul Brown grew up in Tasmania and started his cooking career with a small hotel group. He moved to Sydney to finish his apprenticeship under Chef Andre Blake working for Melbourne’s famous Restaurateurs, the Staleys. Paul went on to start his own restaurant on the northern beaches of Sydney called Café for obscure Avalon painters. He ran this restaurant for seven years during which time modern Australian cuisine was the trend.

Paul was the Executive Chef of the Award winning Thredbo restaurant in New South Wales before becoming the Executive Chef of the Mantra Hotels.

Paul ForemanPaul was born in Western Australia but developed his skills and love of fresh produce while growing up in Tasmania. He trained at highly respected Prossers on the Beach and Prospect House before returning briefly to Western Australia to join the team at Fraser’s in Kings Park. It was Paul’s time heading Restaurant Gondwana in Tasmania that led to his distinct style being born through experimentation and discipline. Paul’s focus remains on precise flavours with a European influence, matched with balanced combinations.

Paul Foreman’s menu executes the best produce Tasmania has to offer with an adventurous twist. A seasonal menu would not be complete without examples of Paul’s flair with crayfish, baby abalone, venison and ocean trout

Peter-KuruvitaPeter’s inspiration for his culinary masterpieces could be attributed to the collaborative cultural influences of his Austrian mother and Sri Lankan father.

Peter embarked on his career in cooking with a chef apprenticeship in 1979. After his first role as a commis chef at the One Star Michelin restaurant – Rue St Jacques in London, Peter returned to Sydney in early 1984 to take up the chef position at Barrenjoey House. During his tenure the restaurant was awarded a Sydney Morning Herald One Chef Hat rating.

Peter is regularly invited as a consultant on a range of new restaurant projects and also appears as guest chef in a range of leading hotels around the world. In April 2003 Peter returned to Sydney to open and run his own restaurant – Flying Fish.

RHIANNON KAE VOROSRhiannon grew up in the Victorian country, in an area where farming and fishing are plentiful, encouraging her to use fresh produce in her meals.  Her interest in food and cooking can be traced back to her grandparents who are exceptional cooks of Hungarian descent.  Starting with a four year apprenticeship with Ian Hewitson at Tolarno Bar and Bistro, St Kilda, Rhiannon is now the pastry chef at Rockpool.