Yorkshire-born, Donovan is the Melbourne-based Executive Chef and partner of The Atlantic. As a master of seafood, he has created a series of menus designed to excite the senses and to complement the carefully-source produce from local and specialist suppliers. He prides himself on using the perfect ingredient for each dish.
Chef Cooke began work in kitchens aged 15. His talents saw him singled out by culinary luminaries Michael Roux and Marco Pierre White. He has worked at The Savoy Hotel and the Waterside Inn in London and La Cote St Jacques in Roigny, France. Donovan was Head Chef at the age of 23 at Harvey’s. Donovan came to Melbourne in 1996 where he was co-creator of the influential Est Est Est in 1997. Luxe was next was awarded The Age Good Food Guide three hats in its first year. Ondine followed and it was awarded Best New Restaurant in 2002.
From 2004, Donovan was chef de cuisine at Derby Restaurant and Bar at the Hong Kong Jockey Club. In 2005, he was recognised as Honorary Commander, La Commanderie des Cordon bleus de France for outstanding culinary achievements. Since 2010 chef Cooke became Executive Chef at The Atlantic and has been leading Melbourne’s seafood cuisine.
Describe your culinary philosophy in 4 words…
Ocean to plate dining experience
What is your aim?
An ocean to plate philosophy inspires everything we do. Every morning, The Atlantic team hand-picks an unrivalled selection of wild and sustainable fish, unique oyster varieties and pristine shellfish to bring to today’s menu.We’ve created a series of menus designed to rouse the senses; from the oyster bar and à la carte, through to the degustation menus. This harvest is complemented by carefully-sourced produce from Australia’s best local and specialist suppliers.Some may think it obsessive to hunt for the perfect ingredient.For The Atlantic, we believe it’s a necessity.
What is your greatest inspiration?
My inspiration is always drawn from the beauty of quality ingredients and cooking for people who have a genuine passion for great food.
What four things would you take to a desert island?
I need 5 things, my wife and 4 children.
- Chef’s Hat – The Age Good Food Guide
- Crown’s Retailer of the Year, 2011
Crown Entertainment Complex
8 Whiteman Street
Southbank VIC 3006 Australia
+61 3 9698 8888