Leading high-end restaurants are typically synonymous with a combination of significant events, grandeur, great views, small meals on large plates, and sometimes indecipherable ingredient lists.
Executive Chef Cameron Matthews sees another role for them: leading promotion of sustainable practice, an issue of increasing focus and importance in the food industry.
Cameron’s kitchen is not foreign to luxury, but his aspirations are higher – and his vision of zero-waste, high-end restaurants in Australia, will now take him across the world.
“The food industry needs more advocates to speak with authority about issues of sustainability, and with greater knowledge,” Mr Matthews said.
“I hope to gather knowledge, tools, resources and new ideas to bring back to share and implement directly across a range of working Australian kitchens.
“I want to find ways to reduce food waste to zero, whilst increasing awareness throughout the sector, sharing a blueprint of “best practice”.
Cameron will study within the kitchens and farms of the best sustainable restaurants in the world: Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York, Relae in Denmark and Azurmendi in Spain.
“It is truly humbling to have been selected as a Churchill Fellow, and I very much look forward to bringing these important findings back to our Australia community,” he said.
“Ultimately I want to use everything I gain from my Fellowship experience to create a plan to increase environmentally sustainable restaurants.
“My three children inspired my application – I feel the need to make my work count, to give it a reason and to change how most people see the way high-end restaurants work.”
Cameron joins 106 Australians who will harness their passion to improve practice in their field, who will go overseas in search of new ideas thanks to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.
Established to enable ordinary Australians to pursue extraordinary things, the Churchill Fellowships, worth some $2.7 million in total, will tangibly deliver benefits to our Australian communities.
CEO of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Adam Davey said the spirit of the Fellowships is exemplified by projects such as Cameron’s.
“Cameron is driven by a desire to see beneficial change in his industry, and he has identified where the gaps of knowledge are that need to be pursued,” Mr Davey said.
“Sustainable practices in all industries are becoming more important, and in the food industry particularly, it is an important issue being raised by high-end chefs like Cameron, through to supermarkets and cafes.
“As with all Fellowship projects, the question Cameron is addressing is not only where do I need to go to find the information to make change, but how do I go about making it.
“Cameron is already thinking about the potential application of his research, and how he can translate all he learns to the broader community, which is wonderful to see.
“On behalf of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust I congratulate Cameron, and wish him luck on his Fellowship journey.”
For the full list of 2016 Churchill Fellows visit

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