Hobart chef Luke Burgess has taken an enormous leap in Australia’s highly competitive restaurant game by winning a prestigious industry award that could take his reputation to the next level.
The 35-year-old was named best new talent at the Australian Gourmet Traveller 2012 Restaurant Guide Awards in Sydney on Tuesday night (August 23).
On top of that, his restaurant Garagistes – which was launched only 11 months ago – was endorsed as the best place to dine in Tasmania. This is no mean feat in a state overflowing with exquisite fresh produce and restaurants that delight visitors from across the island, the country and the world.
Burgess said his love affair with cooking had been spawned as a boy in the late 1980s when his school Italian teacher offered classes. He instantly became obsessed and has never look back.
The former Cleo Bachelor of the Year contender spent time as a food photographer before investing in his first venture – a cafe at Birchs Bay – which led to a passion for local produce.
“I was captivated by picking something and using it that day,” he told The Mercury.
Award judges said Burgess’ creations were “beautiful” and gently challenged yet comforted the palate.