Grant Flack

Place of employment

Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa

Head of Operations – Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa

Grant has recently moved into the role of Head of Operations after 3 years as the Executive Chef.

Grant started at Balgownie in October 2018 as the Executive Chef following a move from the RACV City Club where he enjoyeda 12-year stay, moving from Chef de Cuisine of the Members Dining Room, through the C&E Operations as Executive Sous Chef, and then overseeing the ala carte Operations for the final 6 years. The stint at RA came after working and travelling in London for 2 years in the early 2000’s, at flagship London restaurant Isola under the guidance of Mark Broadbent.

Upon moving out to the Yarra Valley, Grant delivered with some fantastically creative menus both in the Leisure spaceand created a great name within the Yarra Valley of using local produce, as well as freshening the offerings across the Conference and Wedding portfolio. This led to him being named the TAA (Tourism Accommodation Australia) Chef of the Year for 2019.

Utilising what is all about the Yarra Valley and focusing on local produce has been the hallmark of the menus within Balgownie since Grant took the reins.

“Working with the local suppliers has been the best part about making the change to the Yarra Valley”, and with Grant’s desire to understand the ‘story’ behind all of the amazing local producers, we’ve seen dishes featuring produce from Buxton Trout Farm, Yarra Valley Caviar in the Rubicon Valley, Little Creek Cattle in Coldstream, Yarra Valley Dairy and even the Chocolaterie, located just across the Highway.

Moving into the F&B / Cellar Door service space in late 2020 gave Grant a great opportunity to implement his culture of team and instil belief in the younger group of staff, who have a totally different mindset and mentality compared to career driven chefs. This challenge has allowed Grant to grow even further as a leader and flourish in cultivating the next level of management to come through with a clear eye on internal promotion and progression.

An exciting next stage of the career ahead came as Balgownie reopened after the devastation of the fire in June 2020, overseeing, designing and implementing the full set up and layout of the kitchen and FOH service spaces all part of the ensuing period.

Stepping up further into the Head of Operations role in mid 2022 to also lead the Accommodation and Maintenance team grew Grant’s understanding of the operational side of the entire property and he also has an active relationship with the Sales and Marketing teams as they continue to grow the Balgownie brand.

Grant’s biggest motto for the team is ‘if you allow, you approve’, and will always look to lead his teams rather than managing them as he feels that teams grow further through guidance and support.

Grant lives in Bundoora with wife Jennifer, two young boys Charlie, 7 and Spencer 4, and has just acquired a new puppy, a golden Labradoodle Leo.