ACF Executive Board
Heading up the culinary program at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, Sydney Culinary Arts Institute for the past 9 years, Karen heads up a team of international chefs that have worked across the globe. Both in her role with Le Cordon Bleu and her position as President of the Australian Culinary Federation, NSW, ACT & Regions, Karen believes in fostering education and training in young apprentices, culinary students and chefs through both formal education regional, national and international competitions which she is frequently a judge. Born and trained in Ireland, Karen has worked in various five star hotels and fine dining restaurants and comes with strong culinary industry experience. Karen worked her way up the ranks to Head Chef and restaurant owner. Amongst her many accolades, Karen is a gold medal winner and overall winner of the Restaurant of Champions, Salon Culinaire. Karen continues to judge nationally and is active in many national and international culinary organisations.
Employed by the Federal Group for the last 11 years as Executive Chef at The Henry Jones Art Hotel and now Wrest Point Hotel and Casino overseeing a Brigade of 70, Andre prides himself on investing his time to train and mentor young chefs in his brigade through competition, on site training and education to become sought after chefs in our industry.
Originating from Cape Town, South Africa, and with a career of over 26 years, Andre has worked extensively in Europe, Africa and now Australia and has regularly participated in international cooking competitions, including the Culinary Olympics 1996 and 2000 and Culinary World Cup 1998 representing South Africa. He was a member of the Australian National Culinary Team, winning gold and silver medals at the 2008 and 2012 Culinary Olympics in Germany, as well as the Singapore Culinary Challenge 2010. Andre was the founding President of the Australian Culinary Federation – Tasmanian Chapter and in 2015 was elected to the position of National Vice President of the Australian Culinary Federation with the primary role of heading up the Culinary Committee.
Deb is the second longest serving member on the ACF board having held several positions, including appointment as treasurer in 2003. In 2009 Deb was employed as the ACF Office Manager part time and since December 2012 full time as the Secretary / General Manager.
Deb manages and coordinates the day to day aspects of the association office including the membership and marketing. She coordinates all the national events, conferences and competitions & has been the director of The Nestle Golden Chefs Hat Award since 2009. With an illustrious career as a chef, Deb has worked in establishments ranging from cafes to 5 star restaurants and kitchens throughout Australia.
NSW ACT & Regions
A nationally accredited Culinary Judge with over 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, Julio spent 13 years as an Executive Chef of multi-outlet hotels and restaurants. Over 3 years of lecturing at Le Cordon Bleu Sydney has given him a thirst for knowledge that drives him to search for new products and efficiencies without compromise on flavour, consistency and presentation. Julio works for Gourmand Providore & his specialties are Regular Market Updates, Product Innovation and one-on-one communication with clients, assisting them with menu planning, specialty functions or to just chew the fat and lead them in the right direction.
Having spent 35 years in the kitchen, working his way up from junior dishwasher at 14 to current, Martin has been lucky enough to work his way around the world, the UK, Austria, France, the US, Spain & now, here in Australia. Being 5th generation in hospitality, chef patron of the 1st gastropub in his home county in the UK, receiving accolades from major British institutions for the quality of both produce & product his 1st thought is to the provenance of ingredient. Getting to the markets at 4am & finishing at 11 at night for a decade it was time for a change, so a traditional Andalusian beach restaurant it was.
This is my passion; producing the best possible menus that will deliver a profitable outcome.
My philosophy is to use the best of South Australian local and seasonal product available to deliver the best experience to our guests.
I have extensive experience in venues from Convention centres, Casinos, Five Star Hotels to Sporting Venues i.e. Colonial Stadium (now Etihad Stadium) Adelaide oval and the Athletes Village in Sydney for the 2000 Olympic Games.
Stephen Lunn is a well-known and widely respected chef with over 30 years’ experience in the industry. After growing up in Western Australia, Stephen worked for a variety of restaurants throughout Australia and Europe. In 1999 Stephen was awarded Western Australia’s Most Outstanding Chef. He has competed internationally, receiving the Gold Award at the Ireland International Salon Culinaire, as well as receiving awards at National and State levels.
Andrew Wisken 30 years under my belt. After a 4 year apprenticeship under the guidance of the Late Cyril Butler and attending William Angliss. Gained my trade qualifications. Holding many positions in Melbourne and throughout Australia, from Exec chef of a 5 star Resort on Fraser Island to a Kitchen brigade of 70 as Executive chef Planet Hollywood Melbourne.
A Diploma in Hotel Motel management and a grad Diploma in Business Management, 4 time Finalist in Australian Chef of the Year, 2 time finalist in Pork Star are just a few of my continuing achievements.
As industrial liaison for the Australasian guild of cooks for 9 years helped forge some of the training today, I see the Australian Institute of Technical Chefs as the next step.
I’m not a TV star or have any gold medals but a real chef cooking real food for real people.
ACF WA president Patrick O’Brien selects and trains members of Australia’s National Youth Culinary Team and has been the team manager since 2002.
Under O’Brien, the team competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics achieving gold and silver medals on both occasions, and being respectively placed sixth and seventh in the world.
“When you see the look on their faces going to collect their medals, it’s priceless,” he said.