Ben O'Donoghue is an Australian chef and television personality. Currently he is one of the hosts and contestants of The Best in Australia airing on LifeStyle Food in Australia and Vibrant TV Network in the United States.
O'Donoghue was five years old when his family moved from England to Port Hedland. At the age of ten, his family moved to Perth. On finishing school O'Donoghue was employed at a restaurant at Rottnest Island for the summer as a kitchen hand. As a result he applied for and obtained an apprenticeship in a seafood restaurant in Nedlands called Jo Jo's. In his final year of high school at La Salle College in Midland he was head boy.
After qualifying as a chef O’Donoghue was promoted to Sous Chef at Jessica's Seafood Restaurant in Perth. This was followed by stints as Chef de Partie at Goodfella's restaurant in the Newtown area of Sydney and at the Tribeca restaurant in Double Bay, Sydney, where he was subsequently promoted to Sous Chef. In 1993, the restaurant was awarded the' Best New Restaurant Award' by The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.
In 1996 O'Donoghue travelled to the United Kingdom where he worked at The River Café before moving to become Head Chef at the Monte's Club in Knightsbridge with Jamie Oliver. He then worked as the Head Chef at the Atlantic Bar & Grill and also helping Oliver Peyton win the contract to open the National Dining Room at the National Gallery with his creative and seasonal menus. He is now the creative director of food for The Great Australian Pie Company based in the UK. O'Donoghue has also worked with Oliver as a consultant food stylist as well as assisting him with various outside catering functions, including cooking for Tony Blair and the Italian Prime Minister.
O'Donoghue first started with a food show in Morocco for American Television, which was followed by an invitation to co-present a BBC2 ten part prime-time series The Best in April 2002, with an accompanying BBC book of the same name, and filmed an 8-part food and travel series for the ABC in Australia called Surfing the Menu, with Curtis Stone with an accompanying ABC book in early 2003. This series was shown in Australia in February 2004 and was screened on BBC's UKTV Food channel in 2004, with the UK book coming out at the same time. It has also sold to 26 other territories. Ben filmed the second series of Surfing the Menu and wrote the accompanying book in 2004. He has finished filming the third series, and will be co-presenting the fourth series-taking place in New Zealand in 2006.
Ben writes a regular food column ‘Ben's Basics’ for Olive Magazine as well as a regular column for Delicious Magazine in Australia.
O'Donoghue currently lives in Australia with his wife, Dee, and their three children, Ruby, Herb and Cash.
O'Donoghue has been involved in the Schizophrenia Research Institute's fundraising campaign, SwearStop.
- Outdoor : grill your way 'round the world – Hardie Grant Books (Prahran, Victoria) (2008) ISBN 978-1-74066-559-9
- Surfing the menu : two chefs, one journey: a fresh-food adventure – ABC Books (Sydney, Australia) (2004) ISBN 0-7333-1301-9
- Surfing the menu again: with more than eighty exciting fresh-food recipes – ABC Books (Sydney, Australia) (2005) ISBN 0-7333-1496-1
- Meagher, Margaret (June 2007). "Surfing the Menu". Jetstar Magazine. Jetstar. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- "Kings of the kitchen". The Daily Telegraph (News Corporation). 31 May 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- "Ben O'Donoghue". ABC TV. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
- Kelly, Jim (7 June 2007). "Anna combines two passions". The Sunday Times (News Corporation). Retrieved 10 August 2009.
- "Episode 38: Lucas vs Ben O’Donoghue". Masterchef Australia. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- Powell, Megan (13 August 2009). "WA chef competes with the best". The West Australian (West Australian Newspapers Limited). Retrieved 18 August 2009.