AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE - Home of the Chef Hat Awards
Wayne Leeson

Wayne Leeson


Johannesburg, South Africa.

Have you always wanted to be a Chef? 

No, I originally wanted to be a psychologist. This was because I was fascinated with the human mind, but I also wanted to learn how to cook because I found it was a valuable life skill to have.

I started out as a waiter while in high school and wanted to learn how to cook and the owner-Chef told me that I would have to be taught ‘the right way’ so I started out by washing dishes and worked my way through the ranks. I ended up falling in love with this industry and never looked back.

How would you define your style? 

Rustic elegance. 

What is your feature flavour these days? 

Depending on the season, during the colder months I tend to use a lot of smoked and richer flavour, and in the warmer months I use more fresh, vibrant flavours.

Obsessive-compulsive about? 

Efficiency, cleanliness, teamwork, good food complementing good service and vice versa.

Your greatest culinary influence:
Yotam Ottolenghi.

What do you love about this business? 

I love growth and development, there are multiple facets to my role and it’s not just about cooking. Also, the constant evolution of culinary trends creates multiple opportunities for growth and development for myself and my team on so many different levels. It is an absolute pleasure working with owners who are supportive and understanding.

An ingredient you can’t live without? 


Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item?

Our squid linguine where the squid is the linguine. 

Signature dish:

Ricotta gnocchi where the accompanying ingredients change with the seasons.

What can diners expect when they eat at your restaurant and what makes the experience special?

Good food complemented by good service, everyone is treated as a VIP, value for money. Special care is taken to ensure that all guests with any dietary requirements receive a dining experience that is safe, while maintaining the quality and standards of all our offerings. A custom-tailored dining experience so that every customer leaves happy and full.

What is your go-to meal at home when you don’t feel like cooking?

Pizza or anything my fiancée makes for me, which is generally healthier as she’s a nutritionist.

Tell us something no one knows about you?

I can beatbox and at one point in my life I had to choose to either pursue music or cooking. Needless to say, I made the right choice.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Becoming an Executive Chef, overseeing multiple venues, hopefully being a partner in a business.



Eleven on Waymouth Street is a Modern Australian restaurant and open-air bar nestled between high-rise buildings in the heart of the Adelaide CBD. Surrounded by greenery and city lights, Eleven offers a cosmopolitan experience inspired by the rooftops of New York and the laneways of Paris with an inventive, modern menu that showcases the best local and seasonal produce. Expect a thoughtfully curated wine list designed to complement the creative food menu, impressive cocktails that bring a city chic vibe, service that is personal and professional and a busy, energetic vibe that will have you thinking you’re in New York. So, what are you waiting for, go ahead, experience Eleven today.

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