Luke Mangan is one of Australia’s leading chefs and restaurateurs and is highly regarded internationally as a shining example of Australia’s culinary culture.
His career started in Melbourne under Herman Schneider, of ‘Two Faces’ fame. After completing his training, Luke persuaded Michel Roux of the 3 Michelin starred ‘Waterside Inn’ in London to give him a chance. He believes that working under these great chefs in the early years were the two most important steps he took to learn his craft.
Luke currently owns and operates glass brasserie, Hilton Sydney; Salt grill, Hilton Surfers Paradise; Salt grill and Salt tapas and bar, Singapore; Salt and the adjoining World Wine Bar, Tokyo, Salt grill Jakarta and Salt Tapas, Bali; Salt grill onboard three P&O cruise liners. He is also the consulting chef for Virgin Australia.
While Luke’s restaurants range from relaxed to fine dining establishments, they share the common thread of Luke’s cooking philosophy – which is to source the finest and freshest local and Australian ingredients and showcase them with a clean and contemporary twist. Luke is renowned for his unexpected creations, which highlight his French classical training and Asian influences, married with simple, fresh, clean flavours. Luke’s cooking aims to enhance and accentuate, rather than mask, the natural taste of the ingredients.
In addition to running ten busy restaurants, Luke has written four best-selling cookbooks and most recently, his autobiography ‘The Making of a Chef’. Salt grill cookbook released in September, 2013. He has launched his own range of gourmet products and also makes regular appearances on number of TV shows, both in Australia and internationally.
Further testaments to Luke’s excellence are the requests he has received to cook for, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Richard Branson, Tom Cruise and at the wedding of Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary.
Luke regularly donates his culinary skills to both community and industry organisations to raise money for charity. He supports Camp Quality, Starlight Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation and FSHD Global Research Foundation, amongst numerous others.
He is the co-founder of the Appetite for Excellence hospitality awards program which promotes the development of young chefs, waiters and restaurateurs in Australia.
Luke was recently presented with a ‘Friend of Australia’ award; the program which is run by Tourism Australia, is extended to a select few, whose outstanding achievements and contributions give them a voice on the world stage, assisting to promote Australia as a travel destination.
From a family of seven boys who grew up in Melbourne, Luke currently lives in Sydney but travels constantly to his restaurants and events around the world.
Marjon (MJ) Olguera
Marjon (MJ) Olguera grew up in the small town of Singleton in Hunter Valley.
MJ started his career at One Broke Road a restaurant in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley working under Jakartas famous Gilles Marx from Amuz restaurant. Here he learnt many fine French cooking skills and sees Gilles as one of his mentors.
He has over a decade of experience as a chef, and has been working with international restaurateur, Luke Mangan, since 2004.
As one of Luke’s most outstanding protégés, MJ was appointed Head Chef at The Palace by Luke Mangan in Melbourne and managed all culinary operations at the establishment, until its sale in late 2011.
MJ later travelled to Singapore and took on the role as Head Chef at Salt grill & Sky bar before moving on to Jakarta.
MJ has worked with Luke at glass brasserie, Hilton Sydney; Bistro Lulu, Paddington and has assisted Luke at functions for Richard Branson and Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Copenhagen. He also spent time working at Salt Tokyo, playing an instrumental role in its opening.
Together with Luke, MJ has travelled to Singapore, America and Hong Kong for special events and private functions.
Daniel Paul Griffiths
Salt Grill Jakarta
Daniel Griffiths has worked for Chef Luke Mangan serving Business Class guests on Virgin Australia and now at Salt Grill. He began his career in Sydney where he worked alongside Luke at Merivale which was owned by the Hemmes family. However his passion for food, wine and culture led him to leave Sydney and head to London.
As the Manager at London’s landmark establishment Randall and Aubin he worked alongside celebrated Chef Edward Baines. Daniel also traveled extensively around the world tasting and procuring wines and sourcing food suppliers.
However 16 years is a long time. While he loved the experience, he missed Australia’s warmer climate, so returned to Sydney to work as a Hospitality consultant advising Restaurateurs and helping them grow as a business. Then it was up, up and away as Daniel joined the team at Virgin Australia to serve Luke Mangan's menu at 38,000ft.
”It’s a brilliant" opportunity (to be working at Salt grill) and I hope to further inspire our young team members. Food, wine and exceptional service has always been my passion”, he remarked when asked about what brought him to Salt grill Jakarta. " I hope to inject a fresh energy into Salt and take it up to the next level as a total dining experience".
Now having the opportunity to live in Jakarta and manage Salt grill, Daniel is relishing the opportunity to work with the local Jakarta people and to continue working with Luke Mangan.