Leo Schofield

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Leo Schofield
Born (1935-05-06) 6 May 1935 (age 79)
Brewarrina, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality Australian
Occupation Restaurant critic, advertising professional and arts festival director
Spouse(s) Anne Schofield (divorced)[1]
Children 3 daughters

Leo Schofield AM (born 6 May 1935) is an Australian restaurant critic, contributing a weekly column in The Mercury. Schofield has served a long career as an advertising professional, journalist, creative arts festival director, and trustee of arts and cultural organisations.


Schofield was born in Brewarrina, New South Wales, the son of a footy loving publican.[2] He was educated at Christian Brothers' High School, Lewisham[3] and commenced his first job in 1949, as a 14 year old, in the haberdashery department of Grace Brothers,[4] an Australian store chain.

He entered journalism in the 1970s at the Sunday Australian, which folded into the Sunday Telegraph. He also contributed to numerous other publications including The Australian, Vogue, The Bulletin and The Sydney Morning Herald for two decades. In 1984, Schofield established The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide with co-editors David Dale and Jenna Price; and remained editor until the ninth edition was published in 1993.

He was the artistic director of the Melbourne International Arts Festival between 1993 until 1996.[5] In 1997 he assumed responsibility as artistic director of the Sydney Festival (between 1998 and 2001), and conjointly held the position as artistic director of the 2000 Summer Olympics and the 2000 Summer Paralympics arts festivals.

In 2010, Schofield took on the role of judge on the Australian adaptation of the cooking program Iron Chef.[6]

In 1989 Schofield and John Fairfax and Sons Limited were parties to the Blue Angel defamation case. In a review of the meal published in The Sydney Morning Herald in 1984, Schofield compared a lobster dish as "...close to culinary crime". He wrote it had been "...cooked until every drop of juice and joy in the thing had been successfully eliminated... leaving a charred husk of a shell containing meat that might have been albino walrus". A damages award of A$100,000 plus interest was made against Schofield and Fairfax and it was proven that they had defamed the owners of Blue Angel restaurant.[2][7]

He has variously served on the boards of Sydney Symphony Orchestra (inaugural Chairman from 1996 to 2000), the Centennial Park Trust, the National Trust of Australia (NSW), and as a Trustee of the Powerhouse Museum, the Dame Joan Hammond Foundation, Melbourne's Old Treasury Building, and the Sydney Opera House Trust.[5]


  • The Garden at Bronte. Camberwell, Victoria: Viking. 2002. p. 178. ISBN 9780670878666. 


  • 2000 appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the arts, particularly the Sydney Festival and the Melbourne Festival, as a fundraiser and administrator, and to environmental and heritage conservation[8]
  • 2002 made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government[5]
  • 2001 awarded the Australian Government Centenary Medal for outstanding service to the Australian arts, culture, heritage and food industry[9]


  1. ^ Talking Heads – Leo Schofield Retrieved 24 May 2013
  2. ^ a b Schofield, Leo (6 September 2010). Leo Schofield (transcript). Interview with Thompson, Peter. Australia. Talking Heads. ABC1. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  3. ^ School Name Database
  4. ^ "Leo Schofield". Dinkum Aussies. 1999. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "Leo Schofield" (PDF). Celebrity Speakers. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  6. ^ Jones, Grant (13 October 2010). "Iron Chef gets set to hit Aussie TV screens". Herald Sun. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  7. ^ Kalina, Paul (20 January 2005). "The critics' critic". The Age (Australia). Retrieved 1 February 2009. 
  8. ^ "SCHOFIELD, Leo George: Member of the Order of Australia". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 12 June 2000. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  9. ^ "SCHOFIELD, Leo George: Centenary Medal". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 1 January 2001. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 

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