Mark Best's Profile

Chef Mark Best
Mark Best did not grow up with dreams of becoming a chef. Instead, he came to the job by default. Until the age of 25, Best worked as an electrician in the gold mines of Western Australia, and in the submarines at Sydney's Cockatoo Island. It was only when doing a stint to help out at a friend's restaurant that he discovered cooking. The restaurant was Macleay Street Bistro, where Best began an apprenticeship in 1990 and never looked back. Working at the Bistro was the beginning of Best's passion for French food. In the fourth year of his apprenticeship he was awarded the Josephine Pignolet Award for ‘Best Up and Coming Chef' in NSW. His perseverance and self-proclaimed ‘eternal dissatisfaction' drive his on-going personal development, and is partly what has made him an unquestionable symbol of Modern Australian Cuisine. In 1995 with wife Valerie, Best opened his own restaurant Peninsula Bistro in Balmain, to much critical acclaim. Ever the perfectionist, Best then decided to further his study of French Cuisine in France. In 1998 he worked at Alain Passard's three Michelin starred ‘L'Arpége' in Paris, followed by a stint at Raymond Blanc's, ‘Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons' in Great Milton, England. Upon returning to Australia, Best was inspired to open his own fine dining restaurant, Marque, where he remains as chef and owner. Situated in Sydney's food hub suburb, Surry Hills, the elegant 50-seater restaurant is among a distinguished few to receive a score of 19/20 and three hats in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide. Marque is the second-highest ranked Australian restaurant on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. In 2010, Best was named Chef of the Year by the Good Food Guide, and Marque was awarded Restaurant of the Year in 2011. His first book, Marque: A Culinary Adventure, was published in 2011. In 2012, Best won Gourmet Traveller's Restaurant of the Year, and opened Pei Modern in Melbourne, to excellent reviews. Best's food today is in part a reflection of his time spent working overseas. Employing a wealth of culinary creativity, Best presents an exploration of contemporary French cuisine, dabbling in the latest techniques and rearranging textures and flavours to play tricks both on the eye and palate. Best conducts sophisticated experimentations with his food, favouring molecular techniques, yet maintains a strong sense of and respect for the natural environment in every dish. For home chefs seeking his advice, Best recommends planning and preparation as the keys to a good meal. Best's restless culinary ambition ensures he will remain an iconic Australian chef. Follow this link to Marque: Click here Follow this link to Pei Modern: Click here