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Local Excellence: Celebrating Gold Coast’s Finest Artisans

In a thriving city with an immensely creative community and coastal allure, you’ll discover the deep artisanal and homegrown roots of the Gold Coast’s innovative brands, beers, and foodie hotspots. Known for its sun-kissed shores and stretching laidback landscape, we will peel back these iconic layers to explore a deeper canvas of artistic expression. We’ve handpicked a few infamous and wildly passionate winemakers, head chefs, and creators to celebrate their stories and the rich tapestry of Gold Coast craftsmanship. 

Luke Ridden – Granddad Jacks

Luke Ridden, the founder of Granddad Jacks, is a talented and devoted distiller and businessman who began the company in 2017 at only 21 years old. As the great-grandson of Granddad Jack, Luke’s proud family and community values seep into the love of his creations, leading him to become an infamous name in the Gold Coast brewery landscape – alongside winning multiple awards worldwide for his spirits.

Grandad Jack's Distillery

 

Scott Hargrave – Balter

Originally a concreter from Canberra, Scott Hargrave took a career 180 in 2018 when he became the head brewer of Queensland’s best beer. Hargrave’s mission within the Balter Brewery transcends typical masculine culture; in celebrating beer as more than a drink – but a vessel that draws tribes together and a compassion to many great moments in life. To winning multiple Australian and international accolades for his creations, Scott’s technical excellence drives from values in hard work and caring about the product you deliver and the people you love.

 

 

James Brady – Rick Shores

Trained in London as a chef, then working across the globe in France, Spain, Greece, and now Queensland – James Brady consistently excites guests with his innovative and worldly creations. As the head chef at the iconic Rick Shores restaurant, he takes charge in delivering and crafting a world-class rotating menu that fuses Asian flavors with modern Australian cuisine. Defining his style as honest, humble, and cutting-edge without pretense, Brady and his host of chefs craft a delectable experience not to be missed.

 

Rick Shores Asian Banquet

Matthew Jefferson – Social Eating House

At the crossroads of innovation and culinary excellence lies Social Eating House, and in the middle of it all, Matthew Jefferson. Founding SEH in 2012, Jefferson has gained a loving representation for commitment to the craft and diverse culinary skillset across Modern European, Thai cuisine, French Mauritian, Asian/Euro, Italian, and even breakfast as a pastry chef. Despite his many accomplishments, including winning People’s Choice Chef of the Year three years in a row, his devotion to casual tapas dining with the finest Australian ingredients was crucial to his success. From 12-hour slow-cooked lamb shoulder to Malaysian-inspired Tempura bugs, set your tastebuds on his tantalising seasonal menu.

Social eating house

 

Alex Labart – Labart

A celebrated Sydney chef, Alex, alongside his wife Karla, unveiled Labart in 2018 in Burleigh Heads, a culinary gem specialising in exquisite French-styled bistro fare. Drawing from his rich career, including working with esteemed chefs such as Mark Best and Brent Savage, Alex fervently developed a palate for fine dining and locally sourced ingredients – both integral elements in his dynamic menu. At Labart, the ethos champions sustainability, seasonality, and simplicity, all seamlessly intertwined with warm hospitality and unwavering attention to detail.

Jon Heslop – Witches Falls Winery

Jon Heslop is the artisan behind Witches Falls Winery, founding it with his wife in 2003 after studying chiropractic care, and discovering his true calling in winemaking. Now one of Queensland’s most infamous wineries, their delectable selection is made entirely on-site in Tamborine Mountain where they meticulously monitor and craft each sensational bottle. With exceptional skills and a wealth of experience, Jon’s continuous unwavering passion celebrates a sustainability-focused viticultural approach that pioneers a path for future generations of winemakers.

jon heslop witches falls winery

 

Now you’re a little more educated about some of the Gold Coast’s top-tier creation makers, you must explore these vibrant venues and artisanal delights yourself! Whether it’s sipping on handcrafted wines, ‘mmm-ing’ and ‘ahh-ing’ over exquisite seaside cuisine, or exploring the intricate blends of local distillery spirits, your encounters with these extraordinary gastronomic hotspots will leave you with a deeper appreciation for this region’s innovation, creativity, and cultural richness.

Despite being expert know-it-alls in everything SEQ and Northern NSW, the Kiff and Culture team is extremely passionate about our relationships with artisanal producers and local businesses. With you embarking on our tours, you directly support the livelihoods and dreams of these spectacular visionaries.

Intrigued? Enquire about a Gold Coast getaway or event with our guides for an immersive and unforgettable coastal foodie experience with all the bells and whistles. 

Whether you’re looking to organise your next corporate function, birthday bash, or long stay vacay – get in touch with us and we can tailor anything to suit your needs and preferences.

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