For celebrity chef, television presenter, author, and brand ambassador Ben O’Donoghue, cooking is a passion and a reflex. It’s something he’s done since childhood and it never ceases to give him pleasure or stimulate his imagination. He unequivocally believes that food should be simple and distinctive and technically and culturally correct.
Ben shares his love of cooking, local produce and passion for the industry with television viewers through his cooking shows, readers through his cookbooks and soon to be patrons in his new eatery due to open in Brisbane early 2013.
Ben started his career working in several top Australian restaurants before moving to London. For four years he worked at the famous River Café, before joining his mate, Jamie Oliver, at the exclusive Monte’s Club as Executive Chef.
He then worked as Head Chef at the famous Atlantic Bar & Grill and helped Oliver Peyton win the contract to open the National Dining Room at the National Gallery with his creative and seasonal menus. His involvement in the UK Food industry has continued as creative director of food for The Great Australian Pie Company.
Ben moved back to Australia with his family to immerse himself in his home country’s burgeoning food scene with a television, restaurant and publishing career.
Ben’s television credits include four series of the internationally acclaimed food and travel program, Surfing the Menu, which he co-hosted with fellow chef, Curtis Stone.
While ‘Surfing the Menu’ may have made Ben a household name in Australia, his TV career started in the UK in 2002 on BBC2’s ‘The Best’ with Paul Merret and Sylvana Franco. This led to three more series of ‘The Best in Australia’ for the Lifestyle Channel.
Ben’s love of the Australian countryside and passion for local produce is very much evident in his latest television series – Channel Seven’s Drive thru Australia which aired in February 2011.
When not in the kitchen Ben is frequently working at his laptop writing cookbooks with Hardie Grant Books, ‘Outdoor: Grill Your Way Round the World’ was released in October 2008, with the second edition Ben’s Barbeque released in August 2009.
Bens’ most recent published book launched November 2010 titled At Home with Ben – depicts a snap-shot of his stellar cooking career covering family meals, economy of food, dishes to impress and everyday meals.
The next book to be penned by Ben will explore all the delicious vibrancy of Australia’s best Farmer’s Markets. From bustling inner city icons to charming regional destinations; Ben will showcase the producers, the amazing regional produce and of course some mouth-watering recipes unique to each different area of the country.
Until recently Ben was a part-owner of South Bank Surf Club, situated just a few paces from the beach lending a traditional beach vibe and a casual approach to waterfront dining. It was a winning formula with South Bank Surf Club awarded ‘Best Casual Dining’ in the prestigious Courier-Mail Queensland Food & Wine Guide Awards after only four months of opening.
From Ambassador of Jamie’s Ministry of Food, celebrity Dry July participant, Queensland Australia Day Ambassador and Variety Queensland Ambassador, Ben is continually seen in the public as a great Aussie bloke with a warm generous spirit.
Whether he’s manning the BBQ to help the Commonwealth Bank break Guinness records and raise money for Prostate Cancer Research, or offering himself as an auction prize by way of an exclusive private dinner for 10 for the Schizophrenic Research Institute of Australia, or even donning a red dress and red lipstick for a sexy photo to promote a Camp Quality dinner, Ben continually gives up his time and lends his expertise to renowned charity associations throughout Queensland and Australia.
Ben’s charity work has seen his media profile broaden, and keeps him in demand as a spokesperson for the enviable Brisbane lifestyle and as a commentator on the hospitality industry in general.
In his spare time he enjoys surfing, fly fishing and playing with this three children.