19-Apr-2010 | It’s a long way from Shanghai, China’s largest city, to Australia’s smallest capital – Hobart - but the new chef at MONA’s The Source Restaurant sees his former head chef position at the award-winning Hamilton House, on the Bund, as the perfect training ground to prepare him for the opening of MONA, Museum of Old and New Art in January 2011.Philippe Jacques Leban, 45, is the new executive chef at The Source Restaurant and he brings with him impressive French credentials. Leban was born on Paris but grew up in Sydney after his parents emigrated in 1970.
He says he looks forward to being part of Australia’s largest cultural tourism project. “David Walsh’s vision for MONA is what drew me here, and I want to be able to offer a food experience that matches his cultural challenge,” Leban said.
During his time at Hamilton House (2007 to 2009), Leban delivered a buffet of awards including a spot on Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s ‘100 Hot List Tables’ of worldwide restaurants for 2008, best new restaurant in Shanghai, 2009, and the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences Five Star Diamond Award for being one of Asia’s best chefs in 2009.
Prior to gaining international recognition, Leban worked with Guillaume Brahimi, as sous chef at Sydney’s Quay and also as head chef at Bennelong.
In France, he earned his chequered trousers at a number of three Michelin star restaurants: Alain Passard’s L’Arpège, Pascal Barbot’s L’Astrance and restaurants of Hôtel Plaza Athénée; along with the eponymous Hélène Darroze restaurant, one of Paris’s grand personalities in the world of cuisine.
“I want not only to create new dishes with our local produce but to look at the traditional French dishes, to give them my touch with a MONA twist.”
MONA is the Museum of Old and New Art and a particular approach to life’s sensual pleasures. While the Museum opens in January 2011, the Moorilla wines, Moo Brew beer, The Source Restaurant and the Pavilions accommodation already anticipate how MONA celebrates these pleasures – with a commitment to quality, joy, irreverence, intensity, humour and individual spirit.
For more information, please contact Delia Nicholls, 0430 308 161