Martin Benn was born in Hastings, England abd began his career as a chef at the Oak Room in London learning French gastronomy under Michel Lorrain. From there Benn moved to work at the Landmark and later the Criterion, where he came under the tutelage of Marco Pierre White. Moving to Australia in 1996, Benn spent two years at Sydney’s Forty One Restaurant as Sous Chef and later gained a place at Tetsuya’s, learning the fundamentals of Japanese cuisine from Tetsuya Wakuda and mastering them to become head chef at the age of twenty-five.
In 2004, Martin joined the Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay as executive chef, returning to Tetsuya’s before a brief move to Hong Kong to undertake restaurant consultancy work. Returning to Sydney, Martin opened Sepia Restaurant in 2009, collaborating with George Costi to supply the restaurant with the best quality seafood available. Since opening, Sepia has been awarded SMH Good Food Guide – 2011 Chef of the Year – Martin Benn. In September 2011 Sepia was awarded the prestigious SMH Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year 2012, and Three Chefs Hats, a meteoric rise in just over two years.
Sepia has maintained the highest rating of Three Chefs Hats and 18.5 points out of a possible 20 points for four consecutive years and was awarded SMH Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year 2014 and again SMH Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year 2015. Also this year Chef Martin Benn was awarded Gourmet Traveller Chef of The Year 2015 and The Australian Magazine Hottest Chef of the Year for 2015.
Benn has appeared in many newspapers and magazines and, has completed a cooking segment for the Lifestyle Television Channel and has appeared on the final week of Masterchef Australia. In October 2014 Chef Martin Benn released his first book SEPIA – The Cuisine of Martin Benn published by Murdoch Books.
FOUR Questions with Martin
Describe your culinary philosophy in 5 words…
A little bit of magic
What is your aim?
To keep learning
What is your greatest inspiration?
The arts and travel
What fourthings would you take to a desert island?
Good sourdough bread, tomato and my partner Vicki
- SMH Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year 2015, 2014, 2011
- Gourmet Traveller Chef of the Year 2015, 2011
- Three Chef Hats 18.5/20
Ground floor, Darling Park
201 Sussex St,
Sydney, NSW Australia