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.
Mark Best has won Chef of the Year in the annual Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, Restaurant of the Year in Australian Gourmet Traveler, Sydney Morning Herald, Time Out magazine and in the Restaurant and Catering Association’s Awards for Excellence. Marque has also featured for three years running in the San Pellegrino & Restaurant Magazine’s-Worlds 50 Best commencing with the 2010 “Break through award”.
In 2012, Mark opened Pei Modern in Melbourne, founded on the principles of bistronomy that demand a commitment to locally sourced, quality seasonal produce and wines that speak of their place and style. Winning The Age Best New Restaurant Award for 2013, Pei Modern continues to gain critical acclaim.
His second Pei Modern launched at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney in October 2014 and was immediately voted as one of the top ten new restaurants in Sydney.
Mark is an ambassador for AEG products & on the Culinary Council for Holland America Line.