Oswin Ribeiro
Oswin Ribeiro

Oswin Ribeiro

Born:  Mumbai, India

History:  Born in the hyper city of Mumbai, never did Oswin think he would be the Executive Chef of one of Sydney’s best known landmark hotels when he grew up. 

In school and college his interests varied between sports and academics, he even thought about joining the defence forces in the footsteps of his father. At the age of 15 he started to help the family run their small catering business and this is where his interest in food began.

By the time he was 18 he got accepted into one of the few select institutes of hotel management in India. On completion of the diploma, he was then chosen to train with a major hotel chain in India and from then employed at one of their prime hotels in Mumbai, the ‘Taj President’.

He has taken part in judging food competitions for television, conducting food demonstrations, participating in cookery shows and sharing recipes in food magazines. He has travelled extensively through the Middle-East, Far-East, and Europe.  Sharing his talents is important to him and learning new aspects of food habits and trends from around the world is his ongoing pursuit.

In 2010 he joined the team at one of Sydney’s most remarkable landmark 5 star hotels, Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney. He was appointed as its Executive Chef and launched its newly refurbished Bistro Fax Restaurant & Bar which today serves up Australian cuisine in its contemporary form.  He has 15 chefs working with him and starts his day at 6am and finishes at 6pm. Morning duties include managing breakfast service, preparing a la carte and express lunches and checking deliveries for quality and freshness. Afternoons are spent in meetings followed by preparing for functions and dinner service.

Oswin’s philosophy for the Bistro Fax Restaurant & Bar is, “simple, fresh, elegant and value for money. I am designing and producing extensive menus, breakfasts, express lunch options, hearty dinner selections and fine nibbles, something to satisfy all. Plus I am also overseeing in-room, events and conference dining options, so my role is very wide and varied, which keeps it interesting.”

Oswin also finds it important that he spends some time at front of house, talking with guests; it’s one of the things he enjoys most about his job.

Throughout Oswin’s career he has always strived to help give back to the food industry and society as best as he can, encouraging and working with apprentices to improve their skills and employing intellectually challenged students to help them understand the cooking industry. He is very keen to do more for society in Sydney.   From the humble beginnings in 1983 until now, it has been an interesting journey for Oswin and one in which he has learnt something new every day.

One of his challenges today is to learn more about the ancient aboriginal cuisine and ways he can incorporate some of those aspects into his cooking. He believes in all cultures and he doesn’t want to miss out on ways in which he can cater for all.

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?

A job in a uniform was the first criteria that attracted me. Defence would be the first  option due to the discipline it inculcates. I did find a similar strain in being a Chef, where one works in a brigade, wears a uniform and discipline is applied in every aspect as a Chef works in a high risk environment.

How would you define your style?  Fresh, sustainable, & comforting.

What is your feature flavour these days?  Spice infused sauces.

Obsessive compulsive about?

Sticking to the correct basics; the final dish should be the correct temperature, simplistic in presentation, flavourful and good value for money.

Your greatest culinary inspirations:

In my career I have been inspired and influenced by Chefs who despite their status hunger to be practical in the trade everyday. Amongst them, my mentor Ananda, Solomon, Tetsuya, Ferran Adria, Peter Gilmore & Kumar Mahadevan. I do take a lot of inspiration from my team members; there is always an inspiration around me.

What do you love about this business?  Every dish you create or cook is an "opportunity to create a memory".

An ingredient you can’t live without?  Salt.

Most 'eyebrow raising' menu item?  I don not prefer having items which the customer would be uncomfortable with or cannot recognize.  

Signature dish:  Saffron in fused sago crusted barramundi, light spiced semolina porridge, tempered fenugreek leaves, and coriander pistou.

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