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Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Welcomes James Viles As Executive Chef

August 7, 2020 Appointments / Movers & Shakers No Comments Email Email

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley has announced the appointment of James Viles as Executive Chef of the ultra-luxury, conservation-based resort in the Greater Blue Mountains. James is one of Australia’s most acclaimed regional restaurateurs, best known for his imaginative modern food and passionate commitment to locally sourced produce.

James’ food philosophy is strongly aligned with the sustainable ethos and regional-seasonal dining for which Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is renowned. Set in a stunning nature reserve, the resort, which has been carbon neutral since opening, offers an unforgettable experience where guests can ‘eat and drink local’, discovering the very best of Australia’s exceptional food and wine.

“We’re very excited to be partnering with the talented James Viles to introduce exciting new menus and food adventures at the resort,” said Tim Stanhope, General Manager of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. “Our shared vision is for Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley to be recognised as one of Australia’s culinary must-visit destinations, for local and international guests alike.”

James Viles began his career as a young chef at Aman Resorts and Orient Express Hotels. He then returned to the area where he grew up, the Southern Highlands, south of Sydney, to work at The Schoolhouse and at just 23, was awarded a Good Food Guide ‘chef’s hat’. He spent the rest of his twenties working at acclaimed restaurants throughout the Middle East and Europe, honing his technique alongside Michelin-starred chefs including Hans Haas of Tantris in Munich and Alain Ducasse at Spoon in Hong Kong. Returning to Australia, James had a vision to create a dining destination in regional New South Wales that supported local farmers and growers, and in 2011, he opened Biota Dining in Bowral. The restaurant was named Regional Restaurant of the Year in 2014 and 2015 in the Good Food Guide and held its two chef hat status for eight years.

“I am delighted to be joining the team at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley,” commented James on his new role. “I’m overjoyed to be doing what I love, which is creating beautiful, authentic food and exciting dining experiences for guests. The resort’s passion for sustainability is something that I share, and I’m looking forward to working with some of Australia’s best regional producers and artisans in and around the Blue Mountains.”

Combining ultra-luxury with a quintessential Australian bush experience, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is a world-leading example of carbon neutral conservation and sustainable design. Occupying just one percent of a 7,000-acre wildlife reserve, the resort is located between two national parks in the World Heritage listed Greater Blue Mountains, a mere 2.5 hours’ drive from Sydney on Australia’s Great Dividing Range. A gourmet getaway set in a wilderness adventure playground, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley features forty stand-alone villas inspired by Australian Federation architecture, each with its own private indoor/outdoor pool and a scenic wrap-around verandah, allowing guests to enjoy the spectacular landscape.

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