The AussieCuisine Project

What is AussieCuisine?

Ask anyone their opinion and you are likely to get answers ranging from “I don’t know” to “I know it when I taste it” and everything in between.

In our most recent Gault&Millau Australia review of dining establishments in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, more than 300 restaurants indicated that they serve “Contemporary Australian Cuisine”, but most were unable to give us an informative explanation or even the defining characteristics of such a cuisine. It was this lack of a clear answer that gave birth to the AussieCuisine project.

There is no doubt that the past 25 years have seen the food offered in Australian restaurants and on our tables at home change considerably. Over this time, a new food culture evolved in which quality and variety – in contrast to an earlier focus on quantity – became important to many Australians. And while trends and food fashions are ever-changing, not only in Australia but in all the world’s major culinary centres, it is clear that there are certain key pillars on which our “AussieCuisine” is based.

About the Project

AussieCuisine is an educational research project sponsored by the Gault&Millau Australia restaurant guide. Over three years the project has researched the greater meaning of Australian cuisine.

We have interviewed numerous chefs, holding several forum discussions in different Australian cities with leaders of the hospitality industry and researching a great number of books and articles. We came to the conclusion that Australian cooking style can be defined as:

“A fresh, light, vibrant and innovative cuisine;

featuring the diversity of Australian inland and coastal produce

and reflecting our relaxed outdoor lifestyle.”

Our Mission

To define the current cultural cuisine of Australia whilst acknowledging its past and offer guidance for its future. To advocate its values domestically and internationally by providing vested industries a clear identity to promote the vast and talented culinary landscape within Australia.


We acknowledge the contribution and quotes of the following people and companies to AussieCuisine:

B&T Magazine, Business Wire, chef Adam Moore, chef Alex Atala, chef Alex Jackson, chef Andrew Neal, chef Ashraf Saleh, chef Brian Geraghty, chef Clinton McIver, chef Cory Campbell, chef Damian Heads, chef Daniel Webb, chef Darren Templeman, chef Darwin Leonarr, chef Edward Lee, chef Felix Rutz, chef Grant Parry, chef Hayden Quinn, chef Hideo Dekura, chef Jacopo Martelossi, chef James Gallagher, chef Josh Niland, chef Julien Constance, chef Julio Azzarello, chef Karen Doyle, chef Kylie Kwong, chef Lauren Murdoch, chef Damien Styles, chef Leigh McDivitt, chef Liam Crawley, chef Martin Benn, chef Miguel Cuevas, chef Naomi Lowry, chef Paul Cooper, chef Paul Rifkin, chef Pierre Khodja, chef Raita Noda, chef Ram Bhandary, chef Rhys Ward, chef Rick Stein, chef RJ Lines, chef Roy McVeigh, chef Russel Blaikie, chef Sam Pinzone, chef Shaun Quade, chef Somer Sivrioglu, chef Stevin Yang, chef William Cowper, Condé Nast Traveler, consultant Anna-Jane Dalton, consultant Tawnya Bahr, Fine Food Australia, manager Karen Lateo, manager Leigh Cholakos, manager Mark Dorrell, manager Victoria Zwierzynski, producer Alexandra Olsson, producer Anita Dealy, producer Anita Dealy, producer Beth McMillan, producer Daniel Motlop, producer Heidi MacCregor, producer Heidi MacCregor, teacher Judy White, teacher Martin Z’Graggen, teacher Pamela Melocco, Tourism Australia, writer Adam Liaw, writer Alan Saunders, writer Alice Roberts, writer Andrea Hogan, writer Anna Webster, writer Anne Hyland, writer Blake Singley, writer Carlo Tomas, writer Carolina Holzmeister, writer Caroline Overington, writer Claudette Palomares, writer Dane Richards, writer David Knight, writer David Prior, writer Erin Ogilvie, writer Fritz Gubler, writer Grace Mooney, writer Hannah Sinclair, writer Jacqui Newling, writer James Wilkinson, writer Jean-Marie Liere, writer Jennifer Hullick, writer Jeremy Ryland, writer Jessica Hinchliffe, writer Jill Dupleix, writer Jillian Garvey, writer Johnnie Walker, writer Kerry Staight, writer Kim Honan, writer Marty McCarthy, writer Laura Price, writer Laura Price, writer Lauren F Friedman, writer Lee Tulloch, writer Lindey Milan, writer Madeline Woolway, writer Michael Bennett, writer Michael Brooke Symons, writer Michael Symons, writer Mietta O’Donnell, writer Pat Nourse, writer Paula Bantock, writer Paula Bantock, writer Philip Youngman, writer Roger Wotton, writer Sarah Berry, writer Simon Evans, writer Skye Gould, writer Stephen Downes, writer Stephen Mudd, writer Tony Knox, writer Verica Jokic, writer Warren Fahey, writer Winsor Dobbin.


The AussieCuisine project is a non-profit educational website, which reproduces third party material with appropriate acknowledgement for research and educational purposes only. Any concerns or questions about this policy should be referred to

We want to hear from you

You can get involved by letting us know what you think by commenting on our articles, or by submitting an article for publication to our team at

Latest posts

  • Australian-cafe

Why are so many Australians working in American coffee?

September 20th, 2018|0 Comments

By Tim Forster  The success of Aussie cafes might be more about the people than the flat whites and avocado toast. Australia has given the world so much: Nicole Kidman, the Hemsworth brothers, flat [...]

  • what-are-the-challenges-of-running-a-restaurant

What are the challenges of running a restaurant?

August 31st, 2018|0 Comments

By Jeremy Ryland @expertgourmand As a passionate foodie and a restaurant reviewer, the second most frequent question I am asked is “why don’t you open a restaurant?”. The first question is “what is your favourite [...]

  • Jock-Zonfrillo

Jock Zonfrillo wins Basque Culinary World Prize 2018

July 30th, 2018|0 Comments

The Scottish chef is undertaking the task of preserving the memory of native peoples of Australia through their food. Zonfrillo has dedicated the last 17 years to discovering and defending this Aborigine culture, excluded [...]

  • Marco-Pierre-White

Marco Pierre White at Oxford Union

July 9th, 2018|0 Comments

Marco Pierre White, the "Godfather of Modern Cuisine”, addresses the Oxford Union in a compelling interview that recounts all the highs and lows of both his childhood and celebrated career. Fortunately, modern kitchens in Australia [...]

Local hospitality apprentices wanted

June 26th, 2018|0 Comments

Would-be hospitality workers can receive 5-star training in the region’s top hotels for free after the State Government scrapped TAFE fees for 100,000 apprentices, saving students about $2,000 per course in order to combat the [...]

Massimo Bottura on the future of Australian cuisine

May 25th, 2018|0 Comments

Danielle Bowling "I was reflecting on the last panel discussion at MAD, when we were talking about what Australian cuisine is. I think it’s not what Rene [Redzepi] did here. That’s not Australian cuisine. [...]

A milestone in our culinary journey

May 22nd, 2018|0 Comments

“A fresh, light, vibrant and innovative cuisine; featuring the diversity of Australian inland and coastal produce and reflecting our relaxed outdoor lifestyle.”  By the AussieCuisine team Fresh: ‘Australia, being a big country, has such [...]

Q&A with Chef Alex Atala

May 1st, 2018|0 Comments

Alex Atala is a Brazilian chef, restaurateur and cookbook author. Atala is one of the brightest stars of the culinary world. His restaurant D.O.M. in Sao Paulo has two Michelin stars and is currently [...]

The Word in the Kitchen

We are speaking with some of the industry’s leading chefs, restaurateurs and producers what “Aussie Cuisine” means to them.

Q&A with Industry Professional Steven Rhodes

June 19th, 2018|0 Comments

Steven Rhodes was the Restaurant Manager at Solotel Group’s fine dining establishment, Aria Sydney. (Steven has recently left Aria to return to the Gold Coast - the AussieCuisine team wishes Steven well and looks forward [...]

Q&A with Chef Brian Geraghty

April 9th, 2018|0 Comments

Acclaimed Chef Brian Geraghty owns Sydney's restaurant Berowra Waters Inn, which is considered one of the top restaurants in Australia. Chef Brian talks to Dane Richards about immigration, native ingredients and regional cuisine. "Unfortunately, this is a [...]

Q&A with Chef Josh Niland

March 27th, 2018|0 Comments

Talented young Chef Josh Niland owns Saint Peter, an acclaimed seafood restaurant in Sydney’s cosmopolitan Paddington. He has been pushing the boundaries of seafood cooking with a nose-to-tail philosophy using uncommon species. Sharing his [...]

Q&A with Chef Russell Blaikie

March 14th, 2018|0 Comments

Acclaimed Perth chef and restaurateur Russell Blaikie at award-winning restaurant Must Winebar talks with Carolina Holzmeister about his favourite ingredients and producers in Western Australia, and the evolution and future of Australian cuisine. "We [...]

Aussie food in the media

“Australia is one of the world’s great culinary destinations. Beautiful fresh local produce, talented chefs creating innovative cuisine, fantastic authentic ethnic food, superb markets and gourmet specialty food shops, and much more make Australia a tantalizing country to visit.”
“If you ask me, the answer is much simpler: it’s what ordinary people cook at home, whether it’s bolognese, stir-fry or a humble roast.”

“I think the attitudes are changing about Australian food, myself and other chefs have been chasing that and I think Australia is being recognised a bit more now as a place for foodies.”

Chef Jock Zonfrillo, Daily Telegraph. 26/09/2015
“…I think the Australian chef has to get close with the farmer, the fisherman, the cheesemakers. Start with primitivism – so cooking with fire – and after that, you start adding technique and creating new dishes, or reinterpreting – through a contemporary mind – plates that are part of growing up. Like that, you create a new Australian cuisine.”

“Australian cuisine reflects our unique land where you can grow just about any product. It’s a modern society drawing on multicultural influences. We’re able to interpret with freedom and an open mind.”

Chef Peter Gilmore, Quay Restaurant

“What is Australian cuisine is the biggest question I’m ever asked. I think it’s this influence of everyone around us, especially in the way we cook. I think we are all immigrants in this country at some stage or another. People have brought their skills, but Australian cuisine for me is being individual, using what we have in this country.”

Chef Martin Benn , Sepia Restaurant

“Australian cuisine presents an opportunity to create something unique based on a bounty of native ingredients, dedicated producers and multicultural influences.”

Chef Lennox Hastie, Firedoor Restaurant