Neil Perry AM is one of Australia’s leading and most influential chefs. He has managed many award-winning restaurants and today leads the Rockpool Dining Group culinary team as Chief Brand & Culinary Officer. Neil has also recently celebrated 20 years as the Qantas creative director, food, beverage & service.
Neil’s career in hospitality began at Sails Restaurant at McMahons Point and in Rose Bay. He then became head chef at Barrenjoey Restaurant, Palm Beach and was also given creative control over Perry’s in Paddington. In October 1986, he opened the Blue Water Grill at Bondi Beach and took the site from a 20-year failure to an overnight success.
Neil opened Rockpool in 1989 with his business partner and cousin Trish Richards, with the intention of establishing one of Australia’s finest restaurants. After six months it was voted Sydney’s best new restaurant in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and over the years has won a long list of awards including The World’s 50 Best Restaurants for seven consecutive years (debuting at No 4, the highest ever entry for an Australian restaurant).
Rockpool Bar & Grill in Melbourne followed in October 2006, with Spice Temple and Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney both lifting off in early 2009. October 2010 saw the opening of Spice Temple Melbourne, followed by Rockpool Bar & Grill Perth opening in January 2011 and Rosetta Ristorante in October 2012.
In 2014, Neil opened the first Burger Project and has since grown the brand to 7 locations across NSW and Victoria.
Neil is an author of 10 cookbooks and has a weekly food column in Good Weekend in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and contributes a monthly column to Qantas Magazine.
Through Neil’s involvement in the Starlight Children’s Foundation, OzHarvest and various other charities, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2013 for his significant service to the community and appeared on Australian stamp in 2014.
Neil and Trish established the Rockpool Foundation in 2015, which is a charitable arm of their business ventures that strives to support initiatives which strengthen communities and promote real social change.