Place of employment
Stephen Mercer has more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry. Beginning as a cooks apprenticeship at the Regent Hotel in Melbourne in 1986, Stephen went on to win many awards during his four year training. These awards included The Victorian Apprentice of the Year, as well as second place in the National Apprentice of the Year and gold and silver medals in the Golden Chefs Hat Award in Sydney in 1988.
Stephen gained his first international experience as an assistant with the Australian Culinary Team at The Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany in 1988. He went on to represent Australia in many international competitions including The Taste of Canada in Toronto in1989, where he won two silver medals, The 1996 Culinary Olympics, winning a silver medal and Scot Hot – an International Culinary Grand Prix in Glasgow as a member of the forth placed Australian Team.
In 1989, Stephen travelled to Germany to work in the Michelin Starred Frankfurter Hof Hotel in Frankfurt. After 18 months he accepted a position at the Dorchester Hotel in London, where he worked as a Chef de Partie in the prestigious Terrace Restaurant for a further two years.
While based in London in 1990 Stephen earned third place in the British Young Chef of the Year. Returning to Australia, Stephen worked as soux chef at Jacques Reymond’s Restaurant in Windsor, where for two years he headed the kitchen of ten chefs in one of Melbourne’s most awarded restaurants. From 1994, he work as Executive chef for three years at Adams of North Riding in St Andrews, gaining two chefs hats in the Age Good Food Guide as well as opening catering operations at LaTrobe University and Channel 7 in Melbourne.
In 1997 Stephen, with his wife Ute, opened Mercer’s Restaurant in Eltham, where they continue to run the region’s most prestigious dining room. Mercer’s Restaurant has twice won the Restaurant and Catering Association Food and Beverage Championship of Victoria and has six times been awarded a chef’s hat in the Age Good food Guide. In 2005 The Gourmet Traveller Magazine wrote : “ If God is in the detail, then dining at Mercer’s is heaven”