Athol Wark

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Athol is an award winning, hands-on, skilled, passionate Executive Chef with more than 36 years of professional experience in hotels, casinos, cafes, convention centres, events, world expos, resorts, restaurants & banquet settings offering a variety of cuisines (from fine dining to remote off-site locations and everything in-between).

After completing his City and Guilds in Bournemouth in the UK, he commenced his apprenticeship in France, at Le Moulin de l’Abbaye; followed by the QE2. Athol’s first posting as a Chef de Partie was with the Restaurant la Cabane des Praz à Chamonix, France, prior to moving to Australia for the opening of the 5-star Beaufort Hotel in Darwin.

Athol brings a passion for food and derives great satisfaction from creating unique dining experiences for every guest. This attribute and passion have allowed him to be successful throughout his career.

As an essential member of multiple successful executive teams, he has contributed positively towards the growth and development of his employers including the success of World Expo’s.  Representing Australia as the Executive Chef for World Expo’s across multiple events; he also managed the pavilions for Brazil, Japan, USA and New Zealand at the Shanghai World Expo.

Athol is known for his ability to lead and mentor teams; he has effectively managed, trained, mentored, and assisted kitchen staff in producing food for banquets, catering events ranging from 10 to 4,000 guests with 11,000 athletes at the 2017 Universiade Games.

Athol has a large and extensive network across the hospitality industry and the broader community and has appeared as a guest chef and lecturer globally. Due to his expertise with native Australian flavours and ability to integrate them into contemporary dishes Athol has had numerous television appearances across the world featuring in the SBS series ‘Jimmy’s Australian Food Adventure’ with chef Jimmy Doherty, along with numerous television appearances across the world. He has also published several articles and contributed to books such as the ABC publication ‘Australia Cooks’.

With a strong commitment to the next generation of chefs; mentoring and training is something in which he has experience and believes in. He has furthered his commitment in this area through the Australian Institute of Technical Chefs (former Vice President), a member of the Australian Culinary Federation and has been on the advisory board for skills training in the industry and is a qualified Trainer and Assessor (TAE40122).

Athol’s food philosophy is ‘farm to fork’ using the freshest ingredients and making the most of natural flavours; whilst maintaining standards and adhering to HACCP, WHS and industry regulations. He believes ensuring a high level of food quality is paramount.

Experience in:

  • Successful pre-opening of venues
    • Development and planning of kitchens
    • Installation and refurbishment
    • Recruitment and training of teams
    • Sourcing suppliers
    • Understand challenges and timelines, success in meeting outcomes.
  • Skilled in traditional, modern, and fusion menu development
  • Multiple cuisines, including Australian Native Foods
  • Fine dining, banquets, bistro, buffet, room service, themed restaurants, al fresco, and bespoke events
  • Value, consistency, and ensuring the customer experience
  • Food cost analysis, budgeting, inventory control and purchasing
  • Maintaining/exceeding budgets across multiple dining experiences
  • Working within and leading teams
  • Stakeholder engagement – building strong networks (stakeholders, managers, staff, and suppliers)
  • Facility maintenance
  • Current in HACCP, Food Regulations, and food safety auditing within venues


    • 36
    • Executive Chef


    • City and Guilds Catering Diploma in Hospitality
    • Bournemouth & Poole College of Further Education
    • Bournemouth
    • 1986