Dennis Leslie's Profile

Chef Dennis Leslie
Grilled lemon and garlic turkey chops
Starting his hospitality career at Hilton Adelaide as a Hospitality Trainee in 1996, Dennis worked throughout many departments within the hotel including; house keeping, bars, catering and stewarding. It was here in the stewarding department, being in close proximity to the kitchens and chefs that he discovered his passion – cooking!

Dennis pursued his passion to be a chef, working under the guidance of world renowned chef Cheong Liew, Celebrity chef Simon Bryant and two other well known chefs in Adelaide Bethany Finn and pastry chef Ernst Schutt. With this type of exposure and training, there was no doubt Dennis was destined to be an Executive Chef within a very short time.

After five years at Hilton Adelaide Dennis, who at that time was Comis Chef, decided to further expand his culinary culture by going abroad to Europe. Learning about new forms of cooking from smoking, curing to steeping and using ingredients such as Foi Gras, truffle, wild mushrooms, wood pigeons, langoustines and dover sole.

Whilst in Dublin, Dennis worked at the Four Seasons restaurant. It was here where he learned the precision of Michelin Star quality cooking and discipline, under the guidance of restaurant chef, Christophe Gravois. This experience Dennis quotes "defined me as a chef".

His European experience also included working for French born British chef, Raymond Blanc at Le Petit Blanc in England and in Edinburgh, he worked at the well known "Rick's Restaurant", regularly frequented by celebrities and royalty.

Dennis returned home and back to Hilton Adelaide in 2004 with a fresh outlook on cooking and armed with a wealth of knowledge and experience. He immediately put it into good use by spear heading the Seriously South Australian® campaign, along side Simon Bryant for The Brasserie restaurant. This concept reflected his culinary journey whilst exclusively using the produce of South Australia.

Dennis oversees the entire food operation and a team of butchers, bakers, pastry chefs, production and à la carte chefs, each of whom share his passion for local ingredients. The Hilton team is also dedicated to training new talent, with at least 10 apprentice chefs undergoing training at the hotel at any one time.

Dennis is also Executive Sous Chef at Adelaide Oval, and was a regular contributor to local, South Australian Sumptuous food magazine and weekly contributor to the food section of Rip It Up magazine. He was also a chef and instructor at Adelaide Showground Farmers Markets Kids Club.