Dan Hunter
The chef who refined Australian country cuisine
Dan Hunter
When Dan Hunter was eleven years old, his family moved from the Melbourne suburbs to the country. He didn't like it. "There was not much in the way of TV reception, and no decent music or radio stations," the Australian chef explains in his debut cookbook.

So how, a little over three decades later, has he come to oversee Brae, an award-winning restaurant - currently ranked 65 on the World's Best Restaurants list - set within a 30-acre organic farm, about an hour and a half's drive outside Melbourne?

You can thank half a lifetime spent working his way up through the world's kitchens. Hunter started out as a pot washer, landed junior cheffing positions in Britain and Melbourne during the late 1990s and early 2000s, developed an interest in contemporary Spanish cookery, and eventually convinced Mugaritz's founder Andoni Luis Aduriz to offer him a stagier position at the hallowed Basque locavore restaurant. The place impressed Hunter. "I had never seen so much thought go into not only cooking but also into the relationships the restaurant had with the environment and suppliers," he recalls. By 2006, he had risen to chef de cuisine, and on returning to Australia the following year, he looked for some way to recreate this experience. After years of searching he found the ideal spot, on a verdant hillside, remote enough for to grow much of its own produce, yet suitably well connected to work with great local suppliers, and serve the kind of sophisticated diners able to appreciate Hunter's delicate, seasonal cuisine.
BUY BRAE

• For a restaurant under two years old, Brae is receiving amazing international critical acclaim. Hunter has featured in articles in Eater, Fine Dining Lovers, Bon Appetit, Grub Street, New Yorker a well as all the Australian food press.

• "One of the great meals in the world" and "It is so good it is almost depressing" –Anthony Bourdain reviewing Dan Hunter at previous Australian restaurant The Royal Mail.