What We’re Talking About

International and Australian hospitality-focused businesses.

Hear from the world’s best minds in food, drink, business, and hospitality as they collaborate and discuss the future of eating, drinking, sourcing, and dining.

MC: Fenella Kernebone (Symposium Curator, Director@Frankly Group, Curator@TED-x Sydney)


*Program and speakers are subject to change

9am Welcome address

Fenella Kernebone, Symposium MC and Curator

9:05am - The Origins of Australian Cuisine

Jock Zonfrillo & Bruno Dann (The Orana Foundation, AUS)

The chef behind Adelaide’s award-winning restaurant, Orana, on Australia’s rich Indigenous food culture. 

Joined by Nyul Nyul Elder, Bruno Dan.


9:35am - Mixing Up The Drinks Industry

Andy Gaunt, General Manager Fever-Tree Australia

9:45am - The Importance of a Purpose; what drives you, and what defines you is key to your success

Alla Wolf-Tasker AM (Daylesford LakeHouse, AUS)), Josh Niland (Saint Peter, AUS), Ivan Brehm (Nouri, SING). Panel Moderated by Mark Best

Focusing on sustainability, eliminating food waste or setting up a gourmet restaurant in a small regional town… is this a recipe for disaster or the perfect ingredients for running a successful business? Hear from our panelists about the strengths they’ve drawn from running purpose driven kitchens. 

Josh Niland, on introducing ‘whole-fish cookery’ at his award winning Saint Peter eatery; Ivan Brehm cooks with one hand in tradition and the other in innovation to show us how food can connect people from different cultural backgrounds, Alla Wolf-tasker on finding success in the countryside with Lake House in Daylesford. 


What will it take to ensure that we can eat, and eat well, into the future?

After a decade of working with the UN in global crises and food insecurity, Selassie returned to Ghana to start Midunu, a nomadic dining concept championing New African Cuisine, where culture, cuisine and community intersect with sustainability, environment and economy.

11:40am - Passion, growth & staying power

Syed Asim Hussain (Black Sheep Restaurants Hong Kong)

In this session Syed Asim Hussain from Black Sheep Restaurants (HK) will share with us the secrets of how he manages to maintain the culture, quality and intimacy of his first restaurants, now that the business has grown to over 1,000 staff and more than 20 locations.

Catherine Rex has been at Google APAC for 5 years, as head of corporate strategy and planning she is fascinated by the potential of data to reveal meaningful insights on consumer trends and inform a sustainable business strategy.

At the World Gourmet Symposium, Catherine will talk about the 3 trends to respond to as the analogue and digital worlds collide. What can user journey data tell you about yourself, and your business?


12:45 - LUNCH

Enjoy a Gourmet Escape-style lunch feast on the sprawling lush grounds of Mandoon Estate

Multi-award winning chef and founder of The Momofuku Group, David Chang has been recognized by Esquire as one of ‘the most influential people of the 21st century’. With restaurants in the United States, Canada and Australia, a bestselling cookbook and two Netflix series under his belt, David Chang will join us to talk about the highs and lows of his incredible career.


Future Farming: a 2030 vision

2:45pm - Rob Laing (Farm.One, US), Saron Berhane (Bioscout, AUS) and Palisa Anderson (Boon Cafe and Farm, AUS). Moderated by Arlene Stein

How will our food be grown in a decade from now? Sustainable food chains, local economies, new ingredients and the agri-tech re-shaping farming. Take a peek into the future as we’re joined by global leaders and entrepreneurs reimagining the future of farming.

3:30pm - You can overcook your food but not your people

Mike Weeks (CEO, Frontline Mind UK & USA)

Working in restaurants is often viewed as being a high stress vocation, with long hours, intense pressure and customers who can be impossible to please.  But stress isn’t a given, and unlike food that can be cooked until it’s burned, most people don’t get cooked or burned unless they make certain choices to be so. Personal and team resilience and wellbeing in any industry depends upon understanding that stress is an internal state, not an external, ‘out there’ cause. In this talk Mike Weeks will explain why almost everyone, everywhere, misunderstands stress, and how you can transform your thinking so that stress ends up in the same place as a badly burned meal.

4:00pm - CLOSE

Enjoy beer and wine tastings at Mandoon Estate

After the Symposium concludes, you may wish to stay on and enjoy Mandoon Estate’s brewery and wine tastings (paid bar available) and watch sunset from the vineyard.

Find out more