The Eat Drink Design Awards ambassadors are champions of the symbiotic relationship between hospitality and design. In recognition of their ongoing support, past jurors Christine Manfield and Jill Dupleix are the founding ambassadors of the Eat Drink Design Awards. Writer Michael Harden accepted an invitation to become an ambassador in 2015, chef Karen Martini confirmed her support in 2016, and chef Ross Lusted was made an ambassador in 2017.
Christine Manfield is one of the country’s most celebrated chefs, authors and food writers. With a passion and commitment to culinary excellence driving her, Christine has been at the helm of Sydney restaurants Paragon at Circular Quay, Phoenix in Woollahra, Paramount in Potts Point, Universal in Darlinghurst and in London, East @ West. Christine has published seven award-winning books and is also an ambassador for Plan International’s ‘From Cup to Crop’ and ‘Because I Am A Girl’ campaigns
Eminent food writer Jill Dupleix has been writing about eating out and eating in for twenty-five years in the pages of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. She was the cookery editor for London’s The Times newspaper for six years and was co-editor of The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide for another six years. She has also written fifteen cookbooks, including New Food, Old Food, and Simple Food. Jill now lives in Sydney, is dependent on coffee, and hates a wobbly table with a passion.
Michael Harden worked in restaurants in various parts of the world for fifteen years to support his writing habit and now spends quite a bit of time writing about restaurants. He is Melbourne editor of Australian Gourmet Traveller, the editor of The Age Good Bar Guide, a regular contributor to The Age, Qantas The Australian Way magazine, The Weekly Review, The Age Good Food Guide and the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. Michael has also published six books, including Melbourne: The Making of a Drinking and Eating Capital.
Melbourne chef, restaurateur and food writer Karen Martini has been cooking professionally for more than 20 years. She trained at top restaurant Tansy’s in the early 1990s and has headed restaurant kitchens including the iconic Melbourne Wine Room, white-hot Icebergs Dining Room in Sydney, and her current artisan pizza restaurant Mr Wolf, winning countless chefs hats and other plaudits along the way. Her career has been balanced by media commitments, cookbooks and much-loved recipe columns, including a role as food editor of Sunday Life magazine, with the Sunday Age and Sun-Herald newspapers.
Ross Lusted is chef and owner of three-hatted restaurant The Bridge Room in Sydney, winner of the coveted Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide’s Restaurant of the Year 2016 and Hottest Restaurant in Australia by The Australian. After an extensive career in restaurants and hotels around the globe, including Rockpool, Darley Street Thai, harbourkitchen&bar, Singapore’s Mezza9 and Aman Resorts, Ross returned home to Australia to open his own venture, The Bridge Room, with his wife Sunny.