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.
Co-founder and General Manager - Scarf
Hannah is a hospitality professional, Swinburne Multimedia (Media Studies) graduate and occasional freelance writer with a soft spot for limericks. She’s worked in restaurants for over 10 years, and loves food (particularly Italian, Mexican and Thai) and the social side of hospitality. After volunteering with the refugee community in Fitzroy, including editing *bespoken, a newspaper providing a voice to marginalised members of the community, run by The Social Studio, Hannah co-founded Scarf with Jess Moran in 2010.
Hannah was a mentor in Scarf’s early programs, and looked after marketing and communications for three years, before becoming General Manager in 2013. She firmly believes in the power of social enterprise to allow young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections needed to break into employment. As well as ensuring the trainees get the most out of the program, Hannah is interested in fostering the Scarf community – volunteers, dinner guests, host restaurants, sponsors, knitters and the like. She also spends a bit of time gently reminding people that Scarf is not an acronym! In our case, it’s just a warm, comforting show of support and an expression of culture.
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.
Previous owner of several successful Wellington bars Hawthorn Lounge, Cuckoo Cocktail Emporium, Hooch, CGR Merchant & Co and The Roxy Cinema, Jonny founded posBoss after hunting for a till system that suited his business needs.
He is responsible for the companies partnerships, company direction, marketing direction, customer liaison and strategic product direction. A graduate at Victoria University with a Bachelor of Information Technology.
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.
Creative Director - The Tender
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.
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.
Originally from Newcastle upon Tyne (making him technically a Geordie), Jonny Beavan has spent the last ten years working in experiential and events agencies across London and Melbourne, before joining Four Pillars in 2018.
From the muddy fields of Glastonbury to the catwalks of Melbourne Fashion Week, Jonny’s produced events for all kinds of clients including Jack Daniels, Carlton United Breweries, City of Melbourne and Sapporo.
When he’s not at Worksmith, you’ll find Jonny on site delivering one of Four Pillars growing calendar of events.
Wendy started her journalism career back in the last century when typewriters and ash trays were still in use. She reported on everything from politics to sport for Australia's biggest media companies before finding her happy place - hunting down great stories about food. Wendy launched the Sunday Herald Sun's first dedicated food section, celebrating Victoria's best producers and uncovering food industry gems. This led to a regular restaurant review gig on 3AW, with appearances on Radio National, The Project, A Current Affair and Today Tonight.
Wendy left newspapers in 2013 to launch FiveoftheBest.com, a Melbourne-centric online guide to food/fun/travel. The site is still going strong, and Wendy continues to share her down-to-earth food expertise on TV and radio, along with MC and hosting roles at food events. She's also an ambassador for Australia's biggest charity kitchen FareShare.
Wendy lives in Melbourne's inner north with her husband, two teenagers and a very needy dog called Murphy.
Sharon Flynn has spent a lifetime eating her way around the world living for abroad for nearly 20 years in Malaysia, Denmark, Japan, USA and Belgium - along the way indulging her curiosity toward natural fermentation and slow food traditions. A prolonged illness with her youngest daughter led her to learn more about the gut health connection - and the importance of fermented and living foods in the repair and maintenance of our health.
The Fermentary was created mostly by word of mouth in the Macedon Ranges -good flavour and traditional techniques became more important as she realised that short cuts were the norm in the industry and food fads ruled the category. A residential with Sandor Katz, was followed by a return to Japan to study with Koji masters in Kyoto. After a book and numerous awards The Fermentary pushes into it's 5th year determined to remain the only one in it's category not to speed up or bastardize traditional methods for ease and profit; stoic that flavour over fad, authentic over cheap tricks will lead the way.
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.
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.
Sake Connect founder Melissa Mills’s 10-year sake journey began with a fascination for Japanese culture, language and cuisine but it was one snowy winter’s day in Gifu prefecture’s sleepy Mizunami village when passion turned to dedication.
Standing in the aromatic warmth of a cedar clad Koji room, in the eaves of 300-year-old Nakashima Sake Brewery, she was offered a handful of rice, covered in silky tendrils of white mould, and invited to eat.
Struck with a sudden thirst for deeper understanding Melissa continued exploring Japan and sake whilst intensively studying the language. In 2016 she formalised her relationship with sake by completing WSET level 3 sake qualifications with Yukino Ochiai; Australia’s first sake educator and female Sake Samurai.
After winning The International Wine Challenge Award in Sake in 2017 Melissa attended London’s WSET Global Graduation and Awards Ceremony receiving the prize of participating on the judging team at the 2018 International Wine Challenge Sake Competition held in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.
Her involvement in this prestigious event, connecting with Sake brewers from all over Japan and industry leaders from around the globe, not to mention sampling her way through some of the 1630 interesting bottles of sake, only highlighted her desire to share her knowledge and experience.
Bringing new energy and perspective, Sake Connect is a boutique agency that demystifies, inspires and focuses on enjoyment for sake curious audiences Australia-wide.
Meet the team at The Business of Food. You might have known us previously as My Other Kitchen, but we’ve realised there is a need for so much more help than just providing compliant space when you are starting a food business that we decided to step out of the kitchen and offer real and practical business support and referrals. So look out for Jane, Kylie and Luis around Worksmith conducting our regular workshops, events and business coaching (yes, sometimes in the kitchen!).
CEO / Creative Director- Goldeluck’s
Phillip got his start in the world of business at the age of 15 by taking his passion for pop culture and turning it into a flourishing online media site with more than a million monthly readers. After running a global team of over 30 writers and editors for 5 years, he sold the business and decided to turn his passion for baking into a business. At the age of 21, whilst still finishing his marketing and journalism degree, he purchased a suburban bakery called Goldeluck’s Bakeshop and has since modernised and franchised the business. After serving more than 350,000 customers in the last 3 years, Goldeluck’s now has two store locations and is now venturing out to dominate the edible gift market in Australia.