AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE - Home of the Chef Hat Awards
Ben Bamford

Ben Bamford




Gibraltar Hotel Bowral (4.5 Star) - Position: Executive Chef

Port Douglas Seafood - Position: Fish Monger

Pullman Sea Temple Resort and Spa Port Douglas (5 Star AAA) - Position: Executive Chef

Bucci Port Douglas (1 Hat) - Position: Head Chef

Nautilus restaurant Port Douglas (1 Hat) - Position: Executive Chef

Peppers Bale Resort Port Douglas (5 Star) - Position: Executive Chef

Rydges Sabaya Resort Port Douglas (4 Star) - Position: Executive Chef

Rydges Capital Hill Canberra (4 Star) - Position: Executive Sous Chef

Shipwrights on the Marina - Position: Executive Head Chef

Cadmus Restaurant - Position: Executive Sous Chef

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?

There is a creativity and diligence required to be a Chef that has always appealed to me from the very start of my career. There have been times that I have thought channelling my creativity and passion into something else might be an option, but the thought has always been fleeting.

How would you define your style?

Fresh, seasonal and taste driven. As a huge advocate of local growers and producers, these relationships and understanding of seasonal local produce drives every aspect of my style.

What is your feature flavour these days?

The menu at Birch changes every season so it's hard to narrow it down to just one, but you can definitely experience a ‘vibe’ on each season’s menu.

Obsessive-compulsive about?

I have a not-so-secret ambition to be a mechanical engineer so engineering a new gadget to enhance a dish or at least streamline a process is a fun aspect of what I can do. And yes, I can get a little obsessive about making sure it works just right.

Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:

There have been numerous influences throughout my career from the usual old-school icons, but in all honesty, I have been able to work alongside many exceptionally talented people that have and continue to influence me in many different ways.

What do you love about this business?

The people. Being able to work with like-minded and passionate people that are all driven to provide a guest with a certain experience, that you then can see that guest enjoy, provides a sense of camaraderie and fulfilment.

An ingredient you can’t live without?

Salt. And a sharp knife, I know that’s not an ingredient but pretty much something I can’t work without.

Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item?

The Archie Rose coast gin cured salmon, dill, yuzu labneh, nori and radish salsa is a bit sneaky at the moment, appears quite unassuming but guests are bamboozled by its impact – as for the dish that generates guests’ ‘ooohhs’ and arrhhhs’ it would have to be the beetroot carpaccio with goats’ curd, caviar, pickled gel, crisps and meringue.

Signature dish:

Again, it’s the Archie Rose coast gin cured salmon, dill, yuzu labneh, nori and radish salsa from the past Summer menu.