Mark Best Chef & Owner

Mark Best isn’t just a taste-maker, he makes other people taste – Myffy Rigby, 2016

He’s sensitive and smart, sharp and creative. He’s an impressive portrait photographer, capturing both the chefs in his kitchen and those around him with an interesting mix of gloss and grit. And most importantly, he can also successfully change a spark plug thanks to his past life as an electrician, working the mines in South Australia. Few chefs can boast such a broad palette of skills, but Mark Best doesn’t boast at all.

For a man with such a restless and electric mind, Mark Best has a very still countenance. The Patrick Bateman of the Sydney dining scene, you just get the feeling at any moment he’ll pause telling that after-hours blue joke, pull out a man’s still beating heart, slice it, sear it and finish with the punch line. Does that give the right impression of Mark Best? Maybe. Or maybe he’ll just cut this bit out. I hope not.

In the decade I’ve been working as a restaurant critic in Sydney, I’ve watched Mark not so much transform in his food – his cooking has always been seasoned with a certain idiosyncratic flair – but in the way he nurtures and supports other up-and-coming chefs. He’s now had three Josephine Pignolet Award winners pass through his kitchen. All three have gone on to great things.

He’s been a star on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. He’s made-and-ridden media waves across the globe, and traveled broadly. Not content to simply run one of the country’s most progressive fine dining restaurants, the chef decided to open a bistro in Melbourne. And another in Sydney. So he can play it wild, and he can play it straight. Interestingly through all of that, he’s been a constant. His vigilance, his rigor, his sharp intellect, his insatiable need to create new things is a large part of what makes up who he is as a chef and a restaurateur.

Mark Best is one of the most independently minded cooks in the city. He makes menus of blood, he inspires young chefs, he serves what he likes. His priority has always been to challenge. To delight is just a side effect. To truly thrill is divine.

– Myffy Rigby, 2016

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2015 Australian Gourmet Pages Restaurant of the Year

2013 Australian Gourmet Traveller 3/100 Australian Restaurant Guide

2013 Sydney Time Out 5 star review

2013 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards 10th consecutive 3 Hats Awarded

2012 Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year

2011 Restaurant of the year Sydney Morning Herald ‘Good Food Guide’

2010 ‘Chef of the Year’ Mark Best Sydney Morning Herald ‘Good Food Guide’

2010 Finalist for ‘Restaurant of the Year’ ‘Australian Gourmet Traveller’ Rated 2/100

2010 ‘Restaurant of the Year’ Restaurant & Catering Association of Australia

2010 San Pellegrino & Restaurant Magazine UK Top 50 “Break Through Award”

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