Our community is what connects us and empowers one another.
Wine import, sales and expertise
Banjo started his career in hospitality in Adelaide at his parent’s restaurant, before moving to London to gain more experience.
Upon returning to Australia, he headed to Sydney, where he spent a number of years working at some of countries top restaurants.
Banjo then took the opportunity to move to Melbourne and take on the task of Restaurant Manager and Head Sommelier at the well-regarded Attica. During his four and a half year stint in this position, Banjo crafted an award winning wine list, as well as bringing the standard of service to a level in which it was repeatedly regarded not only the best in Melbourne, but one of the top restaurants in the world.
Banjo currently works on numerous wine-related projects - a wine import and distribution business (REAL Wines), an online wine business (The Wine Gallery), a wine bar (Bar Liberty) as well as enjoying a glass or two in his spare time. He also recently became a father, which tends to curtail the amount of spare time he has, but that’s another story...
Hilary is a Melbourne-based freelance food writer and digital content manager.
She has contributed to Goodfood.com.au, The Weekly Review, SBS Food Online, The Australian, Winestate magazine and Broadsheet.com.au. She co-authored The Atlantic at Home with chef Donovan Cooke, wrote Guide to Fish: Choosing and Cooking Sustainable Species and was the Australian contributor of the book 1001 Restaurants You Must Experience Before You Die.
Hilary started Pep Events in late 2015 and founded Turnip Media in early 2017 where she creates digital content and connections for food producers, growers, purveyors & the hospitality industry.
Spirits and Cocktails
Cap and Bells is a team who are serious about alcohol, but realise alcohol need not be so serious. With a focus on celebrating the best of Australian produce their first endeavour; Marionette Cassis, was warmly adopted by bartenders across the country. Their ambitious plan is to produce 20 cocktail staple liqueurs over the next three years. Manning the ship is Shaun Byrne (creator of Maidenii Vermouth), with the knowledge and hard work of Nick Tesar (Bar Liberty) and Hugh Leech (MGC/The Bitters Lab) behind him. Lauren Bonkowski (designer of Pirate Life/Maidenii) rounds out the team.
Brent worked for 10 years in hotels running function departments. His love of computers took his sore feet away from hospitality for another 15 years where he ran IT helpdesks and eventually became a senior Microsoft CRM consultant.
His friend (and long-time rum/gin appreciation partner) Jonny McKenzie started up posBoss - an iPad based POS company just for hospo, which Brent joined soon after, merging his love of hospo with his experience in computing. He hasn't looked back since and is very keen for what posBoss builds to be well designed and make a difference in the industry.
In his spare time he's a creative writer, looking to release his first book for kids of all ages - The Shadow of the Hook.
The Humble Dumpling
Angie comes from a family where food is considered “The First Happiness.”
She learnt to cook from my mum Elizabeth Chong; celebrity chef, TV personality, food writer and teacher. She, in turn, learnt from her father who invented the DimSim in the 1940’s.
Angie established Victoria’s first Professional Asian Cookery Department at William Angliss TAFE, where she also worked as a chef/ instructor for many years.
Today, The Humble Dumpling workshops are all about sharing; Angie's food heritage, her home, her garden (where she grows a lot of herbs, veg and edible flowers) and of course the kitchen where the real magic happens.
A 15 year veteran of hospitality currently owns and operates The Beaufort in Carlton along with The Tender, an experiential agency specialising in drinks.
Having worked in venues throughout London, Edinburgh, Sydney and Melbourne, he fuses his knowledge of hospitality with a degree in advertising to facilitate speciality services to clients such as Bacardi, Pernod Ricard and Asahi Premium Beverages.
Most recently Dave was the winner or 2017 Bacardi Legacy Australia and went on to make Top 8 globally.
Australian Relations - Garage Project
Adam moved from Newcastle to Melbourne almost 10 years ago. On a vacation through the USA, I stopped in at Brooklyn Brewery and decided that I wanted to apply my sales skills to craft beer.
Adam got his start volunteering at a stand during Good Beer Week and have worked in sales for breweries including Brooklyn Brewery, Hitachino & Boatrocker before taking up a contract opportunity to lead the national relaunch of Garage Project in Australia.
It is rare in any industry to find someone whose passion is equally matched by their creativity, but this is exactly the case in regards to Luke Whearty.
Luke has been well recognised for a number of years now to be at the forefront in the world of bartending.
His experiences have seen him travel the world and preside over some of the most progressive drinking programs to date.
In recent years, Luke has contributed to Singapore's fast-growing cocktail scene with the opening of Operation Dagger.
In just it's first years of trade Operation Dagger made waves around the world with its unique approach to cocktail making and in this short time has been the recipient of many accolades.
Brand Ambassador - Archie Rose
Born in the UK and emigrating to Perth as a teenager, Nick caught the hospitality bug back home in 2005. More than 9 years at some of Brighton’s best drinks focused venues followed, along with teaching bartenders on ‘how to not set fire to things’ for renowned Jamaican rum company Wray & Nephew.
Returning to Australia with stints at WA favourites Bar Lafayette, The Dominion League and Lalla Rookh, he joined the opening team at Long Chim (Perth) before setting sail for Melbourne.
With a passion for travel and boilermakers (the drink rather than the occupation), look out for Nick on his adventures throughout VIC, WA, SA and Tassie as he spreads the Archie Rose story far and wide.
Jen comes from a marketing background, having previously worked at the agency that managed Four Pillars’ PR when the brand launched in 2013.
Two and a half years ago she joined Four Pillars full-time, and subsequently joined the population of Melbourne. These days she spends her time managing Four Pillars’ trade-focused marketing campaigns & initiatives, industry events, and distributor & ambassador relationships in both the domestic and international markets.
VINOUS + VINOUS IMPORTS
Wine distributor, importer and producer
Vinous + Vinous Imports represent a hand selected, highly respected, portfolio of Australian, New Zealand and European producers. Their inspiration lies in wines that are produced in harmony with their environment and speak strongly of where they come from. Their producers are essentially vignerons and are usually small family concerns with an absolute quality focus, utilising biodynamic, organic and sustainable techniques and philosophies in both the vineyard and the winery.
The Vinous Victoria team is Nevada Jones and Aidan Raftery. Nevada has recently come to Vinous from Bress Winery, where she spent several years nurturing Bress’ sales and marketing on a national level.
Aidan is beginning a new chapter with Vinous for 2018 after selling his restaurant, Persillade at the end of 2017. Persillade was on the forefront of championing the Australian wine industry’s most recent creative boom, which in turn galvanized Aidan’s garagiste winemaking project: Vin du Patron.