Justin was born and raised in New Zealand, and after completing his chef’s apprenticeship he went on to work at some of the great restaurants of the world. Most notably was three years at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in the UK. At age 22 Justin was M. Blanc’s youngest second Sous Chef and was voted employee of the year from a staff of almost 200. He then spent time in the kitchens of two of Paris’s greatest restaurants – three Michelin-Starred Pierre Gagnaire and Guy Savoy – prior to returning to Sydney to work with Liam Tomlin as Sous Chef at Banc Restaurant.
Justin’s career has spanned 22 years and has been instrumental in developing the following projects and brands over the past decade: Bécasse Restaurant, Bécasse Bakery, Plan B Café, Le Grand Café, Quarter Twenty One Restaurant, retail and cookery school, Charlie and Co. Burgers, Etch Bar and Dining, as well as consulting to the new 5-star Pullman Hotel Brand in Australia.
Justin has led a team whose achievements include: Best New Restaurant by the Restaurant & Catering Association 2002, Best European Restaurant in Australia 2004 and 2009, 2007 Restaurant of the Year in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and inclusion in the San Pellegrino Top 100 Restaurants of the world.Justin has personally been awarded Australian Young Achiever of the Year at Parliament House, The Sydney Morning Herald Chef of the Year 2009 andGourmetTraveller’s highest ranking of three stars in the annual restaurant guide for manyconsecutive years.In November 2010 Justin was named GQ Chef of the Year at the magazine’s Man of the Year awards and his commitment to his work was celebrated with The Sydney Morning Herald Professional Excellence award at the 2011 Good Food Guide Awards.
Justin is the author of two award-winning books:Bécasse: Inspirations and Flavours and French Lessons, and is in the process of writing two new titles with Penguin.
Justin is passionate about ethical eating and is often a guest speaker at debates and discussions on this topic, as well as guest columnist for magazines and newspapers including The New York Times,highlighting conditions for farmers during the Australian drought. Justin regularly appears on the ABC, Nine and Ten networks and is popular with viewers thanks tohis appearances on the hit TV show Masterchef.
Justin features regularly on national and local radio stations, discussing his various projects, books and seasonal eating as well as offering listeners many of his recipes.
At the heart of his philosophy is working closely with farmers and producers and Justin has frequently been an ambassador for industry bodies such as MLA, Target 100 and Australian Year of the Farmer. Justin often provides commentary as a spokesperson for the hospitality industry and also appears overseas at international food and wine festival and events with other acclaimed international chefs and restaurateurs.
To find out what Justin is up to visit his Facebook page.