Chef, Marque Restaurant
Mark Best started his working life as an electrician in the gold mines of Western Australia before starting his culinary career at the age of 25. He commenced an apprenticeship at the Macleay Street Bistro, Potts Point, in 1990. This was the beginning of his passion for French food. It was the heyday of modern Australian cuisine – the fusion of European techniques and ingredients with the flavours of the Asian region – and a flourishing time for Sydney’s food scene. In 1995 Best won the annual award for Sydney’s best young chef, The Josephine Pignolet Award.
In 1995, he opened his own restaurant, Peninsula Bistro, Balmain, which soon developed a strong local following and rave critical acclaim. During this time he decided to further his study of French Cuisine in France. In 1998 he worked at ‘L’Arpége’ in Paris, [under Pascal Barbot] Alain Passard’s three Michelin Star Gastro Temple. He followed this with a stint at Raymond Blanc’s, ‘Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons’ in Great Milton, UK. His time overseas fuelled his desire to start another restaurant. Marque opened in 1999.
Mark Best has won Chef of the Year in the annual Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, Restaurant of the Year in Australian Gourmet Traveler, Sydney Morning Herald, Time Out magazine and in the Restaurant and Catering Association’s Awards for Excellence. Marque has also featured for three years running in the San Pellegrino & Restaurant Magazine’s-Worlds 50 Best commencing with the 2010 “Break through award”
Mark also owns Pei Modern, Melbourne & Sydney, an award winning contemporary bistro. Mark also recently opened ‘Bistro’ by Mark Best on the Genting Dream part of the expanding Dream Cruise lines.
Mark is a published author with ‘Marque a Culinary Journey’ & ‘Best Kitchen Basics’ published by Hardie Grant in Australia & the UK & Rizzoli International Publications in the USA.