AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE - Home of the Chef Hat Awards
Chris Norman

Chris Norman


Edinburgh, Scotland


I started in the industry when I was just 14 years old, washing dishes at a local pub. At the time it was 1 shift a week for a bit of pocket money but as my teen years grew, so did my time in the kitchen. I would gain extra responsibilities and found myself using recipes and preparing dishes. I enjoyed the camaraderie of the kitchen, the hard work and the craft that being a Chef was all about. 

Once I hit my early 20s, I wanted to work in the best kitchens of the UK and spent the next 8 years working at 1 and 2 Michelin-starred restaurants and 5-star luxury hotels. At 29, while working as Sous Chef at the Ritz Hotel London I met Alex, a dedicated Pastry Chef. We decided to take a year out and packed our bags and booked a flight to Australia. 

On arrival, I joined a restaurant opening which received 2 Hats within the first year. I then join Sydney’s biggest and most prestigious restaurant group and spent 2 years in events, catering for intimate celebrations to parties serving over 2500 guests and everything in-between.
Alex and I moved to the Whitsundays to reopen Hayman Island under the One&Only brand and after over a year of Island life we joined Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast and worked my way up to Executive Chef. 

I fell in love with SE Queensland and its produce and I couldn’t refuse the opportunity to open newly-built Emporium Hotel in South Bank, Brisbane. Alex and I took the roles of Exec Chef and Exec Sous Chef.

Within 6 months we opened 6 food outlets all with different food styles and approaches. We received our first Chef Hat for the signature restaurant and after 3 years we were approached to open a restaurant on the Northside of Brisbane where we would receive another Chef Hat.

We’ve now joined Beechmont Estate and are ready for a new chapter, working even closer with local producers to give a real farm-to-plate experience, our ethos is to find the best ingredients and treat them with respect. We’ll be using ethically sustainable produce sourced as locally as possible.

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?

It was an industry I fell into at a very early age. I love the craft of the trade, the solidarity within the kitchen and the lifestyle out of it. 

How would you define your style?

Classic flavour combinations using modern techniques, focusing on food origins, with sharp and elegant plating style. 

What is your feature flavour these days?
Changes daily! Depends on my mood and the weather. 

Obsessive-compulsive about?  

My kitchen needs to be well organised… 

Your greatest culinary influence: 

Some of my previous Head Chefs have influenced me the most, both in the UK and Australia.  

What do you love about this business? 
I love creating a small experience for our guests that they’ll remember for a long time to come.  

An ingredient you can’t live without? 


Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item?
A savoury wattle seed granola paired with Brisbane Valley quail and local sweet corn.

Signature dish: 
My dishes change over time and I never stick with one complete dish. I have food I love to hero, however my style evolves with current food trends and seasonal offerings.

The Paddock Restaurant

The Paddock Restaurant

Celebrating an authentic paddock-to-plate philosophy in the picturesque Gold Coast Hinterland, The Paddock Restaurant on Binna Burra Road in Beechmont delivers unpretentious, wholesome fare celebrating local produce. This 14-hatted dining destination boasts a spacious dining area with lofty ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening alfresco to Hinterland vistas, while guests peruse a menu showcasing cooking over an open fire. Embark on a memorable culinary journey with pork, burnt honey and sweet tomatoes; before delving into white lamb, sunflower seed tahini and confit lamb fat carrots washed down with a glass of red. Vegetarians opt for roasted butternut pumpkin, whipped yoghurt, pumpkin caramel and sprouted seeds; finishing with bottlebrush custard, flower syrup and a donut.

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