"Finally, native Australian foods are making a resurgence via restaurants and grocers who have the bravery to get with the program. A big nod... especially to Mike and Gayle Quarmby from The Outback Pride Project. The small explosion in retail availability of native foods is in no small part down to their beliefs, skills and hard work (bloody-minded tenacity is probably a better description)." - Simon Bryant 'Vegetables, Grains & Other Good Stuff'
"There is finally recognition politically, artistically and culturally of our country's Indigenous history, and hopefully now a culinary recognition of Indigenous foods that had been largely ignored on our daily tables... Having high profile credible chefs using these ingredients certainly helps
introduce and showcase these flavours to a
"This coupled with our more adventurous palates mean that these brash bold flavours are becoming not only merely accepted but actually embraced as part of our country's shared heritage." - 'Going Native', www.simonbryant.com.au
After leaving school and completing a four year indentureship in motor mechanics, Simon returned to Uni to undertake a Bachelor of Economics. While studying he worked part time in the university kitchen where he found a new calling as a chef.
His 25 year career includes cooking in Thai, Indian and award winning fine dining restaurants, as well as a one year stretch as a butcher. He became Hilton Adelaide’s Executive Chef in 2003, a role he undertook for 7 years. Simon has cooked both in Melbourne and Adelaide, followed by various promotional stints in Russia, USA, Japan, China and Singapore.
From 2006 to 2009 he co-hosted 152 episodes of ABC Television's "The
Cook and the Chef" with South Australian food icon Maggie Beer.
In 2014 Simon was appointed as Co-Creative Director for Tasting Australia - Australia’s premium Food and Wine festival. In 2016 the festival will become an annual event, with Simon continuing in this role for 2016 and 2017.
He is also a providore of single origin, traceable, non GM, Australian foods with his brand dirt(y); and a semi competent organic home vegie gardener.
Simon strongly believes in using his profile to highlight ethical food issues, including paying fair prices to producers for ethically produced food; using local, seasonal, fresh ingredients with minimal environmental impact; the responsible and culturally appropriate use of Australian native foods; and in particular, the ethical treatment of animals in the food chain. Above all, he is an advocate of simple produce driven cooking.
Awards and Presentations include: