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Donovan Cooke -The Only Melbourne & Australian- Based Chef To Appear In Masterchef’s Legends Week

May 23, 2019 Dining No Comments Email Email

As the competition on Channel Ten’s MasterChef heats up, Melbourne’s very own Donovan Cooke made a special appearance to help kick off Legends week last night -Tuesday May 21, 2019

As the ONLY Australian-based Chef to appear as part of Legend’s Week – the Melbourne-based/Yorkshire born Cooke – who owns Ryne in North Fitzroy – appeared alongside some of the world’s finest this week on the popular reality show.

His second year in the MasterChef kitchen, Donovan Cooke worked alongside Australia’s favourite T.V chefs Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris to mentor, inspire and challenge contestants to create dishes better than they ever have before.

“It was great to catch up with the lads, I have known them all for a long time now. I worked with George and Gary at the Sofitel, then when I opened Est Est Est in 1997 George worked with me again”, said Cooke.

Cooke, the only Melbourne, let alone Australian-based chef to be invited to feature in Legends Week, appeared alongside other international culinary superstars such as Nigella Lawson and Rick Stein.

An audience favourite as the only local ‘Legend’ and beloved by the judges, Cooke began his culinary career at age 15 when he officially began to work in a kitchen where his talented quickly saw him singled out by culinary heavy weights Michael Roux and Marco Pierre White.

Cooke went on to succeed in the Melbourne culinary scene working at Mietta’s and The Sofitel, following this he went on to open Est Est Est, Luxe and Ondine.

He then moved to Hong Kong to take up the position of executive chef at The Hong Kong Royal Jockey Club where he stayed for seven years. Then returning to Melbourne in 2010 to open and be Executive chef of The Atlantic. In Late 2017 he opened his new restaurant Ryne, located in North Fitzroy which received a coveted Good Food Guide Chef’s Hat in its very first year.

As per MasterChef’s usual high standards contestants will cook off against one ‘Legend’ challenging themselves to meet the expertise of the star chefs within the pressure of the MasterChef kitchen in the hopes of winning the coveted Immunity Pin.

Since its premiere MasterChef has dominated the Australian TV arena with record number 2.52 million viewers tuning into the season finale and an average weekly reach on social media at over 7 million in 2016 alone.

Ryne depicts an intended departure from the more upmarket, fine-dining and has established itself as an approachable, warm restaurant continuously evolving and moving forward, evident with its coup of receiving its first Chef’s Hat within one year of opening.

“We want to create an environment where diners can come and relax with either work colleagues, family and friends – and our menu reflects the changing tastes and desires of our clientele. We listen to what they want – in fact – we are only too happy to create off-the-menu dishes for any special culinary request” says Donovan.

Their 60-seat restaurant is open for dinner Wednesday – Sunday and lunch on Friday – Sunday, and they have recently welcomed ‘Happy Hour’ drinks, popular new Winter Comfort Menu –  a snack menu and BYO is also available.

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