Ex-Catering Student Named Executive Chef at Top Australian Restaurant

An ex-Coleg Llandrillo student who decided to get a part-time job in a kitchen and enrol on a Hospitality & Catering course at Coleg Llandrillo after his GCSEs, has landed the position of executive head chef at a top Australian eatery.

Jonathan Evans’ culinary journey – which has whisked him from North Wales through Liverpool and Greece to Australia – has now seen him head-up a brand-new venue, The Iluka in Perth, where he gained the prestigious position of executive head chef in 2021. The Iluka is an exciting new food and beverage concept nestled between Ocean Reef and Burns Beach, right on the Indian Ocean.

Jonathan explained more: “My years in college were thoroughly enjoyable and gave me the skills needed to succeed in life. After I completed my Level 3 qualification, I decided to go out into the real world and work full-time. I worked in some amazing establishments around the Llandudno area in North Wales – including the Imperial Hotel, St Tudno and Queen’s Head - but I had a hunger to travel and see the world.”

He has large family shoes to fill, as he is the son of Mike Evans, who balances his time as a Hospitality & Catering tutor at the Rhos-on-Sea campus with his role as Welsh National Junior Culinary team manager. Mike’s vast knowledge within the hospitality industry was utilised in a recent episode of the BBC’s hit series ‘The Apprentice’.

Jonathan’s first port of call after completing his training at the college’s Rhos-on-Sea campus and leaving the family home, was Greece, where he worked a full season learning new techniques and methods, as he puts it, “loving every minute”.

On his return to the UK, he moved to Liverpool, where he worked in several high-class eateries, continuing to develop his skills. He still had a yearning to travel the world, so gave up his job in Liverpool as a chef and bought a one-way ticket to Australia!

He landed in Perth in 2011, and soon got a position as a chef de partie. Within a month, he was promoted to sous chef and offered a sponsorship, which allowed him to gain residency in Australia. He remained at the ‘C Restaurant in the Sky’ – Western Australia’s only revolving restaurant – for six years, gaining numerous awards and accolades, continually building his reputation as a top chef.

He then had spells as head chef at Perth beachside venue Mullaloo Beach Hotel, and also The Wild Fig, where he stayed for three years, helping to bring this venue back to its glory days.

During the pandemic, Jonathan was approached by a group of investors – who plan to open lots of high-class venues in the forthcoming years - to join them at The Iluka as their executive head chef.

He said: “It was very daunting to become an executive chef and open a new venue during a pandemic, especially with the added problem of staff shortages. Nevertheless, my ongoing passion for the industry which I discovered during my training at Coleg Llandrillo, spurred me on to success.

“We have now been open for nearly a year, have built an amazing team and have hundreds of happy customers. We have now just purchased our second venue which will be built and opened within a year. I would like to thank all my tutors at Coleg Llandrillo who helped me and encouraged me, enabling me to have such a fantastic life.”

For more information about Hospitality & Catering courses at Coleg Llandrillo, go to www.gllm.ac.uk

call the college’s Learner Services team on 01492 542 338, or email: enquiries.llandrillo@gllm.ac.uk

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