Ben Pollard, Group Head Chef for Trader House will be a special Sample Food Festival Guest Chef this year! Ben began his career in the Northern Rivers, working under Tippy Heng and alongside Ben and Belinda Kirkwood at Dish Restaurant in Byron Bay.

Cutting his teeth as an apprentice at Rockpool Sydney in the early 2000s, Ben honed his skills as both chef and manager under Neil Perry through a career with the Rockpool Group that spans a collective 13 years.

Ben also spent time working and travelling around China as part of the opening team for Andrea’s at the Wynn Palace — a mission that further instilled his passion for traditional, regional Chinese cuisine. On returning to Australia, Ben settled in Melbourne where he currently oversees the operations of the following venues: Supernormal, Cutler & Co, Marion, Builders Arms Hotel, Morning Market, Gimlet at Cavendish House, Apollo inn, Cumulus inc., Handmade Events and soon to be opening in 2024, Supernormal in Brisbane!

With his extensive culinary experience plus local connections, we have appointed Ben as one of our judges of the best restaurant tasting plates at the festival this year. We can’t wait to see (and try) his top picks !

BLOG Sample Food Festival Partners 23

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