Our Crew

Mark Best

Mark Best started his working life as an electrician in the gold mines of Western Australia before starting his culinary career at the age of 25. He commenced an apprenticeship at the Macleay Street Bistro, Potts Point, in 1990. This was the beginning of his passion for French food. In the fourth year of his apprenticeship he was awarded the Josephine Pignolet Award for ‘Best Up and Coming Chef’ in NSW. In 1995 he opened his own restaurant, Peninsula Bistro, Balmain, which soon developed a strong local following and rave critical acclaim.

During this time he decided to further his study of French Cuisine in France and worked at ‘L’Arpége’ in Paris and Alain Passard’s three Michelin Star ‘Gastro Temple’. He followed this with a stint at Raymond Blanc’s, ‘Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons’ in Great Milton, UK. His time overseas fuelled his desire to open his next restaurant, Marque, which since its opening in 1999 has consistently been rated as one of Australia’s best restaurants.

In 2012, Mark opened Pei Modern in Melbourne, a concept based around the modern bistro which takes inspiration from local and seasonal produce. His third restaurant, Pei Modern at Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney, opened in October 2014.

Joachim Borenius

Formerly Head Chef at Marque Restaurant, Swedish born Joachim Borenius brings more than 18 years' of experience in hatted and Michelin star restaurants in England, Italy, America and Australia, including Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York.

Passionate about food since he was a child, Borenius grew up picking vegetables from the garden and cooking with his mother for a family of six. His love affair with seasonal produce and their sweet intense flavours when picked fresh from nature, along with the strong communion of sharing meals and conversations at the table, inspired his life-long career as a chef. His motto in life; with good food, good language skills and a sharp knife, there’s no end to the journey of learning.

Follow him on Instagram: @eljockogrande

Shane Harris

Shane joins Pei from Stanley in Northeast Victoria, where he owned and managed the Stanley Hotel.
Before this, his career in Sydney included the likes of Pier, Tetsuya’s, MG Garage and the International Restaurant & Bar.
Shane’s warmth and professionalism sets the scene for Pei’s welcoming ambiance.

Anthony Hammel

Anthony Hammel, has cooked alongside iconic chefs Mark Best, Alla Wolf-Tasker and George Calombaris, and traces his introduction to cooking back to his childhood in the kitchen with an experimental Father and a traditionalist Grandmother.

At The Press Club, beside George and Justin Wise, Anthony learnt the technical skills required to produce the high level of efficiency demanded by a busy two hatted establishment.
‘I left the Press Club to work beside Alla Wolf-Tasker and Head Chef Dave Green at the Lake House, which was an amazing experience in another two hatted restaurant. The relationships I established with growers from the Daylesford region reinforced my commitment to using locally grown seasonal produce.’

Now at the helm of Mark Best’s Pei Modern Bistro in Melbourne Anthony is keen to let the ingredients do the talking. ‘Having had the privilege of working beside Mark Best and Matt Germanchis at Pei, I am inspired by their minimalist approach to cooking – I just love being able to strip things back to create honest, and delicious food.’

April Shen

A known face in the kitchens of some of Sydney’s best restaurants, April Shen joins the Pei Modern Sydney team as Sous Chef.

One of the most hardworking chefs in the business, April's resume includes Sous Chef at Movida Sydney, Sous Chef at The Potting Shed at The Grounds of Alexandria, and Junior Sous at one-hatted Sydney restaurant, Pendolino. She also started out as an Apprentice/Commis Chef at hatted Bistro Moncur.

April is recognised for her creativity, commitment to produce and passion for quality.

Lauren Eldridge

Josephine Pignolet Award recipient and rising star of Sydney’s dining scene, Lauren Eldridge is Head Pastry Chef at Pei Modern Sydney.

Lauren has honed her pastry techniques in some of the best kitchens around the globe, including World’s Best Restaurant, Osteria Francescana, three Michelin star Le Cinq Restaurant and Guy Savoy in Paris, and Marque restaurant with Mark. One of the most lauded young chefs in the business, Lauren’s recent accolades include Gault & Millau Potentialist of the Year 2016 and Good Food Guide Young Chef of the Year 2015.

She brings her signature style to Pei Modern, introducing bright and visually impactful desserts which celebrate seasonal produce and unconventional flavour pairings.