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Another incredible student success story for TAFE NSW. Former commercial cookery student, Brett Graham, is the highest ranked Australian chef in The World's 50 Best Restaurants.
After completing his apprenticeship with TAFE NSW, Brett Graham moved to Sydney to work with Liam Tomlin at the highly acclaimed Banc Restaurant. A culinary star in the making, Graham was awarded the Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year Award, certifying his status as a promising up-and-comer before his big move to the UK.
15 years later, the Newcastle native is one of the most critically acclaimed Australian chefs in the world. His restaurant, The Ledbury, now stands at an incredible number 14 on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list.
If that's not impressive enough, Graham boasts three Michelin stars – two for The Ledbury and another for The Harwood Arms, London's only Michelin-starred pub.
The World's 50 Best Restaurants awards will be held in Melbourne on April 5, where Graham will return to his Aussie roots. Speaking to Delicious, Graham says it's simply "an honour" to be included on the prestigious list -
"You've got to make sure you don't take it too seriously," he says. "A measure of a good restaurant is not so much if you're number 1, 2, 3 or 20 but that you're on the list somewhere".
A statement of true modesty, Graham expresses his dedication to his kitchen, his staff and his customers -
"The most important thing for me is that I still work in the kitchen, that I'm full-time on the rota (roster) and do the same as my other staff," the 37-year-old tells Delicious.
Graham has a renowned months-long waiting list to secure one of the 55 seats at The Ledbury. A waiting list that we can assume is more than worth the wait.
"People have big expectations when they come to this restaurant and I don't want to let them down", he adds.
Highly passionate about his craft and proud to be alumni, Brett has been providing TAFE NSW Hunter chefs the opportunity to work with him at The Ledbury through his scholarship, 'The Brett Graham Scholarship'. This prestigious culinary scholarship was established in 2003, opening yet another window of fantastic opportunity for TAFE NSW students.