Food has always been a central part of my life, first growing up in Ireland with traditional home cooking and later when my family migrated to Melbourne.
I was extremely lucky to try cooking in secondary school (soon my favourite subject) and this led to my decision to become an apprentice chef in 1979. I soon realised I had found my job for life!
Cooking has brought me around the globe to work in kitchens in Australia, Ireland, England and Turkey. Food travels have also allowed me to explore and learn about the cuisines of India, Japan, Spain, Vietnam and the US.
In the mid 1990’s I was back in Melbourne and soon realised the city had grown to become the undisputed food capital of Australia.
I had always had an interest in writing so this seemed like the perfect time to give it a shot. To see if I could tell the stories about the chefs and food experts who were making Melbourne so amazing.
Opportunities soon came my way to work for Australian Gourmet Traveller, Epicure and The Sunday Age. Dozens of food guides and cookbooks also followed over the next decade.
In 2002 I ran my very first food tour and what struck me was how good it was to be exploring the city and talking about Melbourne directly to people.
Over the next few years my focus was on developing deep relationships with award-winning chefs, restaurants and cocktail experts. Plus building a team of local hospitality experts to become the best tour guides in town.
Melbourne Food Experiences was launched in 2013 and soon expanded beyond tours to offer progressive dinners, corporate entertaining, team building classes and private events.
As well as working with our corporate customers we also began to partner with conference and event organisers, plus the travel and tourism industry.
Our long term relationships allow us to provide exclusive access to hospitality venues, full service convenience in event organisation and unrivalled food knowledge.
The number one aim of Melbourne Food Experiences continues to be that our guests taste the best of Melbourne.
We do this by creating tours and events with amazing local chefs, restaurants and cocktail bars. And by sharing the best of this food-loving city with everyone we meet.
I could never have imagined that my love of cooking as a young man would lead to the work I do today. I basically have the best job in town!
Melbourne continues to be the powerhouse food city of Australia with exciting new restaurants opening on a regular basis. And that momentum is not showing signs of slowing any time soon.
That’s what keeps me excited about the work I do as there is always something new to discover with Melbourne Food Experiences.
Cameron Smith is well known to Melbournians as the host of the long-running Eat It radio show on 3RRR, each Sunday at noon. Here he interviews top chefs and food authors, talks wine, restaurants and food.
He was recently given an award by The Age newspaper for 25 years of contributing to the Melbourne food and wine scene – “Going above and beyond the call of duty”.
Cameron has a background in Hotel Management from William Angliss College and he has worked extensively in advertising, host stages for The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and has worked on Iron Chef and MasterChef.
Cameron works as a food tour guide and an event host with Melbourne Food Experiences. If you really want to know what’s happening with food in Melbourne then you need to spend time with Cameron Smith!
Carmel McNally has always had a passion for food and history. She made a move into the Melbourne food scene in 2002 as a tour guide at the Queen Victoria Market, where she has hosted groups from Australia and overseas, and featured on Coxy’s Big Break, Postcards and Good Morning New Zealand.
Carmel is a wonderful ambassador for Melbourne and loves showing the city off to tour groups. Carmel works as a tour guide and event host with Melbourne Food Experiences.
Raffaela Ceddia is a Melbourne local with a lifelong love of food and cooking, especially drawing on her joint Italian and Sicilian backgrounds.
Raffaela has worked for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival on restaurant and bar crawls. as well as MC’ing at food festival events festival events. It was here she discovered her love for hosting people and showing them Melbourne’s diverse food scene.
Raffaela hosts many tours for Melbourne Food Experiences and created A Taste of Sydney Road Food Tour.
Sebastian Reaburn has been a bartender for over 15 years and in that time has won Australian Bartender of the Year and made the top 10 of Bartender Magazine’s Most Influential List.
He has worked with Shannon Bennett to explore, re-invent and delight in the history of cocktails for the Lui Bar at Vue de Monde. Sebastian has been a brand ambassador, writes widely on the subject and has a regular radio spot on 3RRR. Sebastian has founded bars such as 1806 (winner cocktail list at Tales of the Cocktail in 2008). Plus Heartbreaker (The Age Good Food Guide Bar of The Year 2017).
He has recently added distilling to his CV as the creator of spirits at Craft & Co in Collingwood. He has also launched his own brand of craft gin called Anther (winner of Champion Australian Gin in 2018).
Sebastian hosts specialty cocktail tours and events for Melbourne Food Experiences.