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Meet the Chefs

Meet the Chefs

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Published by The City

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Dine BNE City 2022 couldn’t go ahead without the support and participation of Brisbane City’s best restaurants and their chefs. To get you in the mood ahead of this year’s event, we sat down with the chefs from some of Brisbane’s best restaurants to get their take on the festival, what they love most about the Brisbane dining scene and hot tips on their favourite places in The City to eat.


ZAC SYKES – The Boom Boom Room

Zac Sykes has been the head chef at The Boom Boom Room since September 2020, and boy has he made an impact. If you’re yet to experience this modern Japanese mecca, this year’s Dine BNE City is the perfect opportunity. Be treated to a selection of dishes (curated by Zac) including spicy edamame naki rolls, crumbed duck katsu and chicken thigh yakitori. Hungry yet?

When Zac isn’t cooking up a storm, Gerard’s Bar in James St is one of his regular go-to’s for their delicious middle-eastern inspired cuisine, as well as Otto restaurant in South Bank, and Iris Rooftop in Fortitude Valley.

While Zac admits the last two years have been incredibly tough on Brisbane’s hospitality industry, he’s excited about what’s to come and wants to encourage everyone to support this year’s Dine BNE City Festival.


LYDON TYERS – Donna Chang

Lydon Tyers, head chef of Donna Chang, has been at the helm now for just over a year and a half. Arguably one of Brisbane’s best restaurants, Donna Chang will offer a divine express petit banquet for two as part of this year’s Dine BNE City – featuring appetisers, dumplings, a main, sides and dessert. Y-U-M.

For those yet to visit, you’ll be blown away by not only the food but the sheer beauty of the venue. Designed to share, Donna Chang’s menu is perfect for a group dinner with family or friends, for any occasion.

Lyndon is in awe of Brisbane’s food scene and believes what sets it apart is that it’s still up and coming, and there’s plenty of opportunity for diners to have wonderful, unique experiences. Some of his favourite venues include Savile Row, The Gresham Bar and Alba Bar.


GERHARD PRETORIUS – Walter’s Steakhouse

Heading up the kitchen at Walter’s Steakhouse for almost two years, Gerhard Pretorius knows a thing or two about a good steak (and food in general). For lovers of steak, Walter’s have some exciting offers in the works for this year’s Dine BNE City, including a collaboration with their sister venue, The Gresham.

Gerhard’s perception of Brisbane’s dining scene is one of utter admiration. Brisbane’s friendly vibe transcends through its dining scene, and Gerhard says that even at some of our high-end venues, he never feels unwelcome or out of place.

World class food, with world class service to match.

His favourite city venues include Naga Thai, The Gresham and Dr. Gimlette.



Although still relatively new to Brisbane’s City dining scene, COPPA Spuntino has certainly made its mark. And with head chef Vincent Clist at the helm since the beginning, locals and visitors regularly flock to this superb riverside venue.

Pairing Italian coastal influences with the best of Australian and local produce, COPPA will bring its very best to this year’s Dine BNE City. After a difficult few years, particularly in the aftermath of Brisbane’s most recent floods, Vincent is confident that both locals and interstate travellers will support the Dine BNE event and says Brisbane’s dining scene has never needed community support more.

Vincent loves the variation within Brisbane’s dining scene – from a $10 bowl of Ramen to a hatted degustation and everything in between, there is an abundance of talent, particularly here in the city which is really exciting. Aside from COPPA, Vincent loves to visit Red Hook, The Gresham Bar, and Longtime. 


BRAD JOLLY – Alchemy

Situated along the Brisbane river next to the iconic Customs House, you’ll find Alchemy Restaurant and Bar. Heading up the kitchen is head chef Brad Jolly, who after 16 years at the helm, is well and truly part of the fabric of Alchemy.

Alchemy is bringing its A-game to this year’s Dine BNE City, but without giving too much away we’re just going to leave you with one word: ravioli.

From Brad’s perspective, dining at Alchemy is all about the experience, not just the food. Each day he looks to provide food that he would like to eat himself – fresh, clean and traditional to the Italian heritage.

On his days off, Brad loves to take his family to Fat Noodle, and frequents Mr and Mrs G for a casual drink. Never wandering too far from his favourite places, Brad loves how easy going the vibe is in Brisbane, but the way we’ve grown as a city makes him very excited for the future.