AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE - Home of the Chef Hat Awards
Coby Cockburn

Coby Cockburn


Mossman, QLD.


I did my apprenticeship with P&O resorts (Silky Oak’s Lodge and Dunk Island) before working my way around Australia. After doing a stint on Bedarra Island, I became a personal Chef – I was one of Keanu Reeves’s personal Chefs while he was filming the Matrix 2 & 3.

I took a job as a Chef de partie on Lizard Island as I worked my way up to Junior Sous Chef. I decided to move to the snow fields, to a little 5-star hotel called Breathtaker All Suite Hotel, where I worked for three years. I then decided it was time for the warm weather again, so I took over a restaurant in Port Douglas, called Watergate, which I ran for 3 and a half years, before moving on to a little 5-star boutique hotel called Thala Beach Resort.

My longest stint was when I moved to Dunsborough, to take over a winery called Palmer Wines, which I ran for 8 years. Now, I’ve opened my own restaurant, as of December 2017, Blue Manna Bistro is my current home.

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?

I have always wanted to be a Chef, and I enjoy the lifestyle. I love the food, the comradery in the kitchens and travelling around.

How do you define your style?

Modern Australian.

What is your feature flavour these days?

I love anything with spice. Spice doesn’t always have to be hot. To me spice can be anything that makes your tastebuds dance.

Obsessive compulsive about?

Fresh Seafood and finding new ingredients that I haven’t seen before.

Greatest Inspirations/influences:

Nobu, Tetsuya and Christine Mansfield.

An ingredient you can’t do without?


Most Eyebrow raising menu item:

Korean Spicy Sashimi Salad (Hwe Dap Bap).

Signature Dish:

Black Bean Blue Swimmer Crab.

Blue Manna Bistro.

Blue Manna Bistro.

Relax under the peppermint trees with a delicious cocktail in hand at Blue Manna Bistro on Cyrillean Way in Dunsborough. This stylish restaurant is alive with the buzz of conversation as locals and visitors alike settle into polished wood surrounds at black table settings, under the watchful eye of the resident crab adorning the wall. Perhaps linger over a leisurely lunch in the large alfresco area, while delving into Asian fusion fare like crispy fried prawn stuffed soft-shell crab, coconut herb salad and mango chilli chutney. For a memorable main, try Thai slow-braised pork jungle curry, with charred pineapple nuoc chum, Asian herbs and spring onion roti, or charred miso salt-rubbed Stirling Range Angus beef fillet, garlic mash, seasonal vegetables, green pepper jus and onion rings.

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