Surfing The Menu
Take two knockabout Aussie chefs, allow them to ignite as head chefs in two of London’s top restaurants, remove them from the heat and allow to rest, place into a four-wheel-drive jeep, add a touch of surfing, set them off on a discovery tour of Australia’s great scenery, characters and fresh produce and you have the recipe for Surfing the Menu – a brand new food, travel and adventure series.
Surfing the Menu features Ben O’Donoghue, star of BBC’s The Best and formally Head Chef at Montes in Knightsbridge, who teams up with fellow Aussie and fellow surfer, Curtis Stone, regular guest on BBC 2’s, Saturday Kitchen, and UK Food’s, Good Food Live, and until recently, Head Chef at Marco Pierre White’s London restaurant, Quo Vadis.
Looking to rediscover the roots of their culinary successes and uncovering new trends and products back home, Ben and Curtis travel the length and breadth of Australia, meet remarkable characters and discover unusual and unique new produce and cook in some of the most spectacular locations in the world.
The series is set in the pearling town of Broome, the rock lobster coral islands of the Abrohlos, a Spanish monastery town of New Norcia in the middle of the Australia wheat plains, the world-beating wine and surfing region of Margaret River, the diversity and natural beauty of world-heritage Tasmania, the surf coast and Benalla Peninsula in Victoria, the lush and diverse Hunter Valley famous for its wines, and finally Byron Bay, where the rainforest meets the sea.
Ben O’ Donoghue started his career working in a number of top-class Australian restaurants including Tribeca in Sydney and Jessicas in Perth before moving to London.
For four years, he worked at The River Café before joining his best mate Jamie Oliver at the exclusive Monte’s Club as head chef. He now heads up the kitchen at the trendy Atlantic Bar and Grill.
Ben has worked with Jamie as a consultant food stylist as well as assisting him with various outside catering functions, including cooking for Tony Blair and the Italian Prime Minister.
In addition to his work on Surfing the Menu, Ben co-hosts the television series The Best, and has appeared on Saturday Kitchen (2002) and Planet Food (2001).
In his time off, Ben enjoys surfing and pilates.
Curtis Stone is a master chef, best selling author, TV personality, and entrepreneur.
When it comes to cooking, his philosophy is to cook as Mother Nature intended: buy locally produced seasonal & organic ingredients, keep recipes simple, and allow the food to speak for itself.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, Stone left Victoria University in 1994 at the age of 18 to follow his passion for food. His strong will and love for quality cuisine led to a job cooking at The Savoy Hotel.
Once a qualified chef, Stone began traveling throughout Europe with his best mate. Three months into his travels, Stone arrived in London broke and in need of a job. Determined to fulfill his dream of working in the world’s best restaurants, he walked into legendary Chef Marco Pierre White’s kitchen and offered to work for free in exchange for the opportunity to work alongside the three-star Michelin genius. After proving his worth, Stone was brought on staff and remained at The Grill Room at Café Royal for two years.
From Marco’s Grill Room, Stone advanced to Sous Chef at the Mirabelle where he contributed to the restaurant’s highly revered Mirabelle Cookbook. Stone remained at the Mirabelle for two years, during which time it was awarded a prestigious Michelin Star. Stone was then handed the reigns to Marco Pierre’s flagship restaurant, Quo Vadis, where he received critical acclaim and remained until 2003 when he made the leap to television. His first show "Surfing The Menu" ran for three seasons in 26 countries.
In 2006 Stone made his debut in the United States via his own hit series "Take Home Chef" for the Discovery Network’s TLC. The series has been a huge international success being viewed in over 70 countries around the world. More recently, Curtis signed an exclusive deal with America’s major network NBC. As the networks resident chef, Stone can be seen on NBC’s hit series "The Biggest Loser" teaching contestants how to make good nutritional choices and prepare healthy meals. He is also a regular contributor on America’s number one morning program "The Today Show." Twice monthly Stone provides viewers with tips and delicious recipes to try at home. In addition, Stone can also be seen as a judge on NBC’s "America’s Next Great Restaurant."
Stone was the first chef to have an eponymous product line sold at the prestigious retailer Williams-Sonoma in the USA. His line of sleek and eco-friendly kitchen solutions is currently sold globally. The functional and stunning products have been praised in a variety of publications including The New York Times and O: The Oprah Magazine. The complete range of Kitchen Solutions is available on his website.