Melbourne Food & Wine's Hostplus Hospitality 2017 Scholarship winner announced

Along with inductees to the Legends Hall of Fame

Media release
Subscribe to
Melbourne Food & Wine's 2017 Inductees to the Legends Hall of Fame

Melbourne Food & Wine's 2017 Inductees to the Legends Hall of Fame [©Theresa Harrison]

2017 Hostplus Hostpitality Scholarship winner Caitlyn Rees
Scholarship winner finalists and judges
Bruce Pascoe, Matt Stone, Jo Barrett, Melissa Connors, Guy Grossi


The 2017 winner of Melbourne Food and Wine’s scholarship and inductees into the Legends hall of fame were announced on the 24th July at the Legends & Rising Stars Awards.

The past, present and future leaders of Australia’s food and wine industry were toasted at the dinner at The Point Albert Park hosted by Jill Dupleix. The awards were conferred by the City of Melbourne’s Cr. Susan Riley, together with Hostplus CEO David Elia and Melbourne Food and Wine CEO Natalie O’Brien.


Caitlyn is Head Sommelier at Charlie Parker’s and Fred’s in Sydney. She was an instrumental part of the opening team that launched Fred’s in 2016. Prior to that she worked in some of Sydney’s most respected restaurants including Momofuku Seiobo and Mr Wong.

Caitlyn’s passion for product knowledge stood out to the judges as well as her strong desire to foster and share knowledge within the industry.

Caitlyn will embark on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to work across the world at three world-class venues and wineries along with a year-long mentorship on her return.  She will be working closely with Melbourne Food and Wine to determine her dream places to work overseas, and has already expressed an interest in visiting the cideries in Normandy, France.

“We congratulate Caitlyn on her remarkable achievement and hope this scholarship propels her further in establishing a formidable career in hospitality,” said Umberto Mecchi, Group Executive, Strategy, Marketing and Client Services at Hostplus.



Joining Victoria’s most prestigious group of chefs, producers, culinary educators, wine producers and restaurateurs, the 2017 inductees are:

Beverage Producer/Retailer/Advocate: Sandra de Pury
Sandra is fourth-generation winemaker at Yeringberg, where she views her art as “the perfect combination of intellectual, physical and sensory engagement.

She first began her career as a chef in Australia and overseas before embarking on an MBA program at the University of Melbourne which led to a five-year stint as a jet-setting problem-solver with a Melbourne-based management consultancy. Eventually her family heritage lured her back to the vineyard and she completed a degree in oenology and graduated with distinction.

Sandra is a past President of the Ladies’ Wine and Food Society of Melbourne and current a member of the Viticultural Society of Victoria and the Yarra Valley Winegrowers Association Committee of Management. Sandra lives at Yeringberg with her two teenage boys where cooking for fun remains a much-loved daily ritual.

Food Producer/Retailer/Advocate: Syd Weddell,
Founder of The Essential Ingredient. He has inspired thousands of home cooks with his beautiful stores full of top line equipment, cookbooks and hard-to-find ingredients.

Communicator/Educator: Bruce Pascoe
A member of the Bunurong clan of the Kulin nation. Author of nine books, Bruce has had a varied career as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, lecturer, Indigenous language researcher, archaeological site worker and editor.

Chef/Restaurateur/Hospitality Professional: Guy Grossi.
A leading chef, presenter and media personality. Guy is the owner and head chef of Grossi Restaurants and has authored five esteemed cookbooks.

Local Hero: Melissa Connors
Inspired by her friendship with retired farmer Noel Jenner, Melissa founded the initiative ‘This Farm Needs a Farmer’ to connect those new to farming with the more experienced.

Hostplus Trailblazer Award: Matt Stone and Jo Barrett
Passionate advocates of zero-waste cooking and ethical food, Jo and Matt co-head the kitchen at Oakridge Wines, creating a destination dining room in the Yarra Valley



Our Recommendations

To see our recommendations, ratings and reviews you must be a logged-in subscriber.

To subscribe please enter your email address in the "Subscribe Now - it's Free" box on the right and click the "Join" button, or fill in this form >

August 01st, 2017
Subscribe today - it's free
Subscribe Button

Subscribe now - for news and reviews, our newsletter (optional), to join our forums, and more.

Enter your email address and click the Subscribe button. We respect your privacy.

Log in

Enter your username...

Enter your password...

Log In Button

Forgotten your password?


Kerry's corner - your free benefits