AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE - Home of the Chef Hat Awards
Mark Naoum

Mark Naoum


Ballina, NSW. 


I have been a Chef for over 25 years. I have worked in some great restaurants, like Michael’s and Marco’s on the Riverside in Brisbane. I began there as a Commis Chef, before becoming Head Chef of Marco’s and Sous Chef at Michael’s. In 2003, I decided to travel, and I worked as a Senior Chef de partie at the awarding-winning Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh Scotland. 

I also worked as the Executive Chef of Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm in Boonah, until opening a business in Ipswich with my wife, Angela. 

I like exploring new techniques and offering diverse menus which are hard to choose from. I focus on sourcing ingredients locally, using Brisbane Valley quails, goats’ cheese from Naughty Little Kids Peak Crossing and olives from Watercress Creek at Pine Mountain. 

I had a dream of owning my own restaurant. It became a reality in October 2016.

Have you always wanted to be a Chef? 

Yes, I have always wanted to be a Chef, since I started school. 

How would you define your style? 

Modern Australia with a Mediterranean influence. 

What is your feature flavour these days? 

Currently, I like working with beetroot. We have a smoked beetroot risotto on the menu, as well as beetroot and vinegar pearls. On the Winter menu we had beetroot ice-cream. 

Obsessive-compulsive about? 

I love smoking and brining. 

Your greatest culinary influence: 

My apprenticeship peers at Tatterstalls Club and the French Executive Chef in Scotland. I learnt so much while I was overseas. 

What do you love about this business? 

Being creative and the lack of boundaries. Making sure our guests walk away knowing they have received quality food and service. I like working as a team, working with front of hours is just as important as working with kitchen staff. 

An ingredient you can’t live without? 

My house-made jus. 

Signature dish: 

One of many is our house-made linguine.  

The Cottage Restaurant

The Cottage Restaurant

Set inside a charming heritage Queenslander on Limestone Street sits The Cottage Restaurant, an Ipswich establishment for delectable cuisine in distinctive surrounds. Once a home, converted bedrooms now serve as thoughtfully appointed dining spaces giving a touch of seclusion warmed by fireplaces, with extra room available out on a verandah, enjoyed best at dusk. Find seasonal and local cuisine with a Mediterranean influence, perhaps savouring an entrée of seared venison, leek and kale tart tatin and whipped feta; before mains such as rolled rabbit, roast pepper pudding, crushed peas and zucchini, or citrus-infused duck breast, grilled polenta, corn and eggplant. Steak lovers opt for spice-rubbed Wagyu rump to share, with fried onions, potatoes, baby vegetables and cracked pepper jus.

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