Executive Chef, Marnong Estate

For Adam, the kitchen is a place where his love and passion for creating happy food comes to fruition. By this he means food that is honest, welcoming and brings people together. This ethos ties in perfectly with owner Dino Strano’s Mediterranean heritage and vision for Marnong Estate as a place where the community can gather, belong and connect.

It all starts with connecting our food offering with the local land and people, and their diverse cultural backgrounds.

We gather fresh local produce and recipes that evoke a sense of home, family and belonging to this special region, which allows us to create happy food.

When talking to Adam about how he makes this happen, he says it’s all about his team. “I can’t be who I am without them. A kitchen should be happy environment to come to work in. Happy chefs create happy food.

From flame grilling dry aged steaks to spinning pizza dough and cutting ravioli pillows you can see the pride and joy in each and every one of his team’s faces. A testament to their leader and the greater vision of Marnong Estate translating into every part of its workings.

It’s no wonder this is possible. With 18 years’ experience in kitchens across the UK and in Melbourne, Australia, Adam has learnt from the best.

In the early days of working under Michelin starred chef, John Paul Brown and later with the Master Chef of Great Britain, David Ryan he was inspired by chefs with a true passion and an unwavering love for food, and a commitment to sharing it. These lessons from his esteemed mentors led Adam onto a bright career path in Australia.

At The Point Albert Park, Scott Pickett was instrumental in perfecting his steak cooking abilities in his two hat restaurant.

Adam honed his skills in large functions and fine dining degustation at Eureka 89 to then take the Head Chef role with Maurice Esposito at Esposito at Toofey’s and St Peter’s one Chefs hat restaurants; a hugely rewarding and challenging role that developed his experience managing a kitchen and team.

This led to an incredible five-year stint as Executive Chef at Hospone (Leftbank, Mrs Robinson, Henry and the Fox). After setting up venues, developing menus, training staff and achieving significant growth running a 30-person kitchen team, Adam was ready for his next challenge.

It was Second Home Eltham, one of Melbourne’s best cafes that enticed Adam. Again, it was about team and delivering a high-quality offering to locals. However, wanting to carve out his own path and have a significant impact on a larger team, the community and connecting more with where his food came from, Marnong Estate beckoned him.

It felt right, like finding where I was meant to be. There’s something very special about this place, it’s more than I could have hoped for or even began to imagine

Since Marnong Estate opened in June 2018, a kitchen garden has been established and an olive and truffle grove are in the works. As Victoria’s first Wagyu farm, the cattle are in prime condition to produce premium dry aged steak. It’s more than just the fresh local produce that is a focus here, we’re also passionate about sustainability with all waste being turned into compost on the 1200-acre working farm.

It’s about coming full circle, tying everything together and making a positive impact.