Chef Todd Thorburn was born into a passionate hospitality family; growing up in his family’s restaurants “Mark’s upstairs” and Plimsoll’s. A passion of creating a smile was instilled in Todd at a young age. He began his apprenticeship at the age of 15 working in various styles of kitchens throughout Brisbane. Once qualified, Todd moved to Melbourne attracted by the vibrant food culture. Working with Accor hotels, he headed up the kitchen of “ON 15” restaurant at the Mercure Grand on Swanston and later became the pastry chef at “The Black Cockatoo” Mount Buller Chalet.
In 2006, he moved to NZ with Accor hotels and was instantly charmed, not only by NZ but it’s amazing array of unique produce and ingredients. At the age of 27, Todd became the Executive chef of the Mercure Auckland and Mercure Auckland Windsor hotels launching “Vue” restaurant and “Attica” bar in 2010. He competed and later judged in the NZ National Salon Culinnaire over three years. In 2012, he was awarded Accor Hotels “Innovation” award for New Zealand and Fiji for his efforts in “breaking the stigma of hotel restaurants”. After a short stint with “three five three” in Perth, Todd decided to move back to Melbourne. He has since headed up the kitchens of ST. Ali North, Green Park dining, ST .ALi’s Church of Secular coffee at Monash Clayton, Victa & Hoist’s Monash Club and now working with ST.ALi at Monash Caulfield’s Mama Duke.
In 2015, Todd was awarded the “Ora King Salmon award 2015” for Australia and went on to the International Finals in Marlborough New Zealand. In 2016 Todd made it into the top 32 competitors of “The food services Australia Chef of the year 2016. Todd now heads up the kitchen at Pigro Bar & grill in Melbourne and has recently become part of Les Toques Blanches Victoria and is a Licensed member of The Australian Institute of Technical Chefs. Todd is inspired by wild, foraged, local and sustainable ingredients while embracing flavours and techniques from around the world. Working in all facets of kitchens from hotels, fine dining restaurants, events, catering and now in some of Melbourne’s best cafés has formed Todd’s modern and somewhat eclectic style focusing on technique driven food balanced by elegant flavour and texture. Having a lifelong dedication to the industry has given Todd a true passion for training, coaching, supporting and nurturing of our next generation of Chefs and hospitality professionals. “from exploring techniques and flavours, experimentation then the building and eventual mastering of a dish is a truly priceless experience”. “The art of creating a smile”.