The Australian-born Luke Mangan must certainly rank among today’s industry icons having made his mark across the culinary landscape both at home and abroad with his 19 restaurants. Not only that, he can also rightfully boast of his food being enjoyed on land, sea and air. And as of only recently, you can add rail to that list.
Born in 1970, Mangan would begin his career under the Swiss-born chef Hermann Schneider, himself famous for “Two Faces” (voted Best Restaurant in 1975 the National Times). His training would then continue under Michel Roux at the three Michelin Star Waterside Inn London.
Working at Sydney’s CBD restaurant during his late-20s, Mangan would open his first restaurant, Salt, in 1999. This was only the beginning for the young chef. In the years following he would venture to Japan, Indonesia, Singapore – and beyond. He would also not be confined to land, with Salt grill first appearing on P&O’s Pacific Jewel in 2009 and expanding to four further P&O cruise liners.
Mangan literally took off when he was approached by John Borghetti to begin his long association with the Virgin brand. With the sensitivity of passengers’ tastebuds reduced due to the high altitude, the position would come with its own unique set of challenges.
In addition to his work in his restaurant empire, Mangan has found time to write four cookbooks, write his memoirs, launch his own range of gourmet products, present on multiple television and radio programs, receive requests to cook for many celebrities including former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Richard Branson, Tom Cruise and at the wedding of Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary and actively support a number of charities. He also co-founded of Australia’s largest hospitality awards program.