She has been described as a “national treasure” and a ‘pastry maestro’. Fittingly, Philippa Sibley has earned a reputation as one of the country’s finest chefs.
Although Philippa’s passion for pastry emerged early on, it was during a stint in England and France that her fate was sealed. Having secured positions at the renowned Le Gavroche, Est, Quaglino’s and Harvey’s in London, Philippa was then appointed Chef de Partie at France’s three-starred La Cote Saint Jacques restaurant.
After arriving back on Australian soil in 1996, it wasn’t long before Philippa had opened the acclaimed est est est restaurant in Melbourne. Luxe followed in 1998, before Philippa moved to Ondine in 2001. All three restaurants collected three hats in The Age Good Food Guide, and est est est and Ondine the coveted Best New Restaurant Award. It was her work at Ondine that earned Philippa The Age Good Food Guide Chef of the Year Award 2004.
In 2004, Philippa was Pastry Chef at Fenix Restaurant in Melbourne, before moving on to Circa The Prince as Head Pastry Chef, where she was renowned for her desserts and received such monikers as “Queen of the Desserts” (Gourmet Traveller March 2006), “Stellar pastry chef” (Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide 2006) and “Enchantress” (Age Good Food Guide 2005). Philippa brought her legendary dessert-making skills to Bistro Guillaume as Head Pastry Chef in 2007, and then as Executive Chef at iconic St Kilda cafe Il Fornaio in 2010.
Philippa captured the hearts of dessert lovers across Australia when she competed in MasterChef’s Celebrity Chef Challenge in 2010, as well as making an appearance on Junior MasterChef.
In 2011, Philippa published her final word on desserts with her new book, PS Desserts, and is now returning to her love of both savory and sweet as Executive Chef at Albert St Food & Wine. The wine bar, restaurant and produce store in Brunswick offers the best of Mediterranean eating, and here Philippa’s focuses on seasonal, sustainable ingredients from local producers.