As one of the most popular TV shows in Sydney, MasterChef Australia combines excitement, suspense and anticipation with one of everyone’s favourite activities – eating. Time and time again, judging is one of the most fun aspects of the show. And after watching, many people want to be a judge themselves, to let all their senses wrap around every masterfully designed dish and have each ingredient invigorate their palette.
Thankfully, there is no better place than Sydney to be your own judge and to eat like a MasterChef.
Matt Moran left school at the age of 15 for a four-year apprenticeship to learn classical French cooking. Moran later teamed up with business partner Peter Sullivan in 1991 to open up ARIA, one of Sydney’s premier restaurants. Having been blessed with great fortune, Moran loves giving something back as an ode to what defined his success. As such, new apprentice chefs are hired to work alongside some of the most skilled chefs at ARIA. Moran himself makes sure he provides a great hands-on experience for his apprentice chefs, both guiding them and demanding excellence. Matt Moran is also one of the few Australian chefs to have been invited to cook for the James Beard House, a much revered New York culinary institution.
Any MasterChef would stop by to taste the extravagance to be had at the award winning ARIA restaurant. Located in Circular Quay, right near the beautiful Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, Moran’s ARIA has won two coveted Chef’s Hats and was also the 2012 ‘Diner’s Choice’ at the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide Awards. The food here boasts simple, strong and great flavour. You will also get some of the best server experiences in Sydney. As someone who wants to eat like a MasterChef, you should not expect anything less. As the saying goes: Great food brings you to a restaurant, but service brings you back.
Brent Savage followed in his sister’s footsteps to become a chef. As a result, not only is Savage one of Australia’s most innovative and artistic chefs, he is also one of the nation’s youngest chefs to have achieved renown in the culinary industry. For this reason, in 2005 Savage was named Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Chef of the Year.’ A year later, Brent Savage, along with Sommelier Nick Hildebrandt, opened up the Bentley Restaurant and Bar. Part of Savage’s incredible success is based on his desire to design dishes that both burst with incredible flavor and offer steep textural contrast.
No MasterChef experience would be complete without a visit to the Bentley Restaurant and Bar. Since its inception in 2006, Brent Savage’s restaurant has won an impressive 20 awards, including two coveted Chef’s Hats and one Wine Glass, something the restaurant has retained ever since 2007. This restaurant has been a leading innovator in the Sydney restaurant industry by always challenging your palette in exciting ways, opening new culinary roads and experiences. From textural contrasts like chewy chorizo on paper thin crispy potatoes to exhilarating combinations of flavour, there is a reason why the Bentley Restaurant and Bar remains one of the most influential restaurants in all of Australia. Please also note that the Bentley Restaurant and Bar is currently closed while it relocates to the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sydney’s CBD.
Peter Gilmore had his first experience with cooking at just four years old when his mom would take him along to gas cooking classes. As a result, Gilmore’s culinary history is rich and varied. After completing his apprenticeship in Balmain, New South Wales, Gilmore went to the UK to work in several country house hotels. He returned back to Australia and worked at various establishments, something that has helped him refine his notable cooking style. In 2001, Gilmore became Executive Chef of Quay, and since then has made a tremendous name for himself and his cooking.
Just a year after entering the Quay kitchen, Peter Gilmore’s incredible dedication and brilliance helped Quay earn the Good Food Guide’s ‘Restaurant of the Year’ in 2003. Not only does Quay have sweeping views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it also has an incredible outlook onto the Opera House. The clean and fresh vibe portrayed at Quay compliments the restaurant’s menu. Gilmore’s talent for blending texture with nature’s sweeping diversity defines the food at Quay, as does its impeccable preparation and presentation; the perfect combination for one who wants to eat like a MasterChef.
Colin Fassnidge first took to cooking as a result of his mother. His desire to cook was also spurred by his lack of success at school, where he was considered a dropout. Fassnidge’s success stems from sheer hard work, high expectations and a strong desire for perfectionism. His first job had him working 14 hours a day, something Fassnidge believes grounded him for the long and hard journey that hailed him to culinary stardom. Although originally from Dublin, Fassnidge is now an Australian citizen and owns two prestigious restaurants alongside business partner and Sydney restaurant mogul Joe Saleh.
Expect nothing but greatness at Four in Hand, which opened back in October 2005 in Paddington, Sydney. Since then, the restaurant has been exalted by countless reviewers and also gained its second Chef’s Hat in 2010. The excellent food here is due to Fassnidge’s tenacious drive to source the best local ingredients and turn each cut into something that combines and unifies multiple flavours. From licorice braised beef to fennel custard with crab and hazelnuts, the food simply transcends into an experience no guest is apt to forget.
Fassnidge’s 4 Fourteen Restaurant, also in Paddington, quickly became one of Sydney’s “it” restaurants and a prestigious place at which to be seen dining. Here, one can taste delectable dishes like black pudding, prosciutto, and apple sauce, or Pain d’epices (French loaf cake) with fresh figs and ginger beer sorbet. Not only will you taste brilliance, you will also see beautifully plated creations. As an aside to the already exhilarating menu, service here is both attentive and sharp, something someone who wants to eat like a MasterChef should not miss.
By now, you should realize that there are more than a few fine dining establishments to be enjoyed like a true master. Feel enticed by Matt Moran’s extravagant cooking at ARIA, become enthralled by Brent Savage’s eye-opening food experience at the Bentley Restaurant and Bar, or lure your taste buds into a passionate affair with the excellence presented by Colin Fassnidge. With five incredible places to choose from, Sydney offers you an exciting variety when it comes to wanting to eat like a MasterChef.