• New year, new chef appointments. Jed Gerrard, the executive chef of Como The Treasury and head chef of its rooftop fine diner, Wildflower, has left the award-winning luxury hotel to take on the role of executive chef at the Ritz-Carlton Perth (opening later this year). Taking over Gerrard’s position at Wildflower will be the restaurant’s sous chef, Matthew Sartori, a long-time Fervor collaborator who has also worked at landmark Perth restaurants Restaurant Amuse and Greenhouse.

• Last seen in the open kitchen of Mount Hawthorn’s much-missed Budburst (insert moment of silence), journeyman chef Gwenael Lesle has resurfaced as the new head chef at Beaufort Street’s St Michael. The French-born chef from Brittany – diners of a certain vintage may remember him from Wembley’s Bouchon Bistro – is preparing to launch his first menu at the Highgate dining room opened by Scott O’Sullivan (Red Cabbage) and Todd Stuart (Petite Mort).

• When Nic Wood, head chef of Santini Grill at Perth’s QT hotel, says he’s getting some friends around to help cook lunch, he doesn’t mess around. On Sunday February 24, Wood and a high-calibre line-up of WA cooking talent – Amy Hamilton (Liberte), Stephen Clarke (Clarke’s of North Beach), Kenny McHardy (Manuka Woodfire Kitchen), Melissa Palinkas (Young George Bar & Kitchen), Adam Bielawski (Poach Pear, Chase Weber (The Standard), Lucas Fernandes (Long Chim) and Stuart Laws (Chefs Collective) – are cooking together in aid of the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Tickets to the three-course collaborative lunch are $175 per person and include matched wines, with all proceeds supporting the foundation. Tickets can be purchased from QT Perth.

• Tickets to Taste Great Southern, the region’s annual celebration of food and wine, are now on sale. Timed to coincide with the school holidays, this year’s festival has been condensed from a month-long program into 10 days of good times starring guests such as television personality and cookbook author Adam Liaw and Chris Salans from Ubud’s contemporary Mozaic restaurant. The homegrown component is equally compelling, featuring Charlie Vargas (New Normal), Guy Jeffreys (Millbrook), Liberte bar manager Keryn Giles and others.

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