Simon is equally proud of his personal achievement in providing ‘real local food’ within the normally restrictive environment of a large scale commercial kitchen by using an ‘in the field’ approach , visiting the state’s producers, forming personal relationships and sourcing the finest product ‘first hand’.
Simon passionately believes in using his profile to highlight ethical food issues, including paying fair prices to producers for ethically produced food, using local seasonal food with less environmental impact, the use of Australian native foods, and in particular, the ethical treatment of animals in the food chain.
A champion of South Australian produce, Simon uses his guest chef, consultancy and speaking engagements in local, interstate and international dinners and events to promote these concepts in an informative and yet relaxed manner that consumers can easily digest.
Simon Bryant is a face well known to regional and urban Australia as he and South Australian food icon Maggie Beer are beamed into thousands of lounge rooms and kitchens via the popular ABC program The Cook & the Chef. The show aired more than 150 episodes over four years, attracting more than 600,000 viewers nationally each week.
Simon is currently an ambassador for the Animal Welfare League SA, Animals Asia Foundation, The Department of Environment and Heritage Kitchen Garden Foundation and patron for the Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers Market Kids Club.
A keen organic gardener at home, Simon also devotes much time and energy into educating Australians of all ages of the benefits of growing and eating their own food and the rewards it brings in terms of health and general wellbeing. This philosophy extends to teaching children about what they are eating, how it grows, how it can be cooked and how what they eat can affect their behaviour and self esteem.
Education: A motor mechanic by trade, Simon returned to study and while working in the university kitchen to earn some extra cash and studying Economics at the University of Melbourne, Simon realised he’d rather wear a chef’s hat than a business suit.
Chef: He began his career in several Thai and Indian Restaurants in Melbourne, before moving to Adelaide in 1995. Simon was with Hilton Adelaide for more than 10 years, commencing as a Commis Chef, followed by 18 months as a Chef de Partie in The Grange with Cheong Liew and rapidly working his way up to Senior Sous Chef of The Brasserie. It was in The Brasserie that Simon emerged as one of South Australia’s hottest young chefs and was promoted to Executive Chef, overseeing 33 staff, two of the state’s leading restaurants, a quick service deli, and as South Australia’s largest hotel, the largest catering and room service operations in the state.
Awards: Under Simon’s leadership, The Brasserie won the 2006 Premier’s Food Awards for Services to the Industry, and the 2009 SATC Tourism Award for Restaurant and Catering Services. He was named Executive Chef of the Year at the 2007 Hotel Management Magazine Awards for Excellence, the 2008 Chef of the Year by the Restaurant and Catering Association (SA).