Several years working in the Public Service in Canberra, turned Grant Van Every seriously to the bottle, and inspired him to pursue a career change. He commenced work in the hospitality industry under the guidance of Len Evans, at his eponymous Sydney restaurant in the mid-1980s. This apprenticeship would have continued indefinitely if not for a building re-development forcing the restaurant's sad demise in 1989. After spending the 1990 vintage in Burgundy, Grant worked as a Sommelier at Triannon, Sydney (now known as Cicada), before moving to Melbourne in 1992 when Andrew Blake's Southgate restaurant opened. Here the first menu featured an original Van Every concept; each dish on the menu was matched to a wine recommendation. This idea is still successfully employed at Blake's, and copied throughout Australia.
Two years later Stella, Spring Street, Melbourne, was opened with Geoff Lindsay and Andrew Blake as partners. Apart from awards for its food, Stella has also won accolades for its wine list, most notably Nicholas Lander named it his favourite list in the Asia Pacific region (Decanter, August 1998). Stella was sold in March 1999, releasing Grant to concentrate on his wine-related consultancy business, working with restaurants, wineries, teaching colleges, and private and corporate clients.
Grant won the Australian Sommeliers' Championship in late 1994, and went on to compete with distinction at the world titles in Paris in December 1994, winning a special jury prize for matching food and wine. Grant is currently serving as inaugural President for the Australian Sommeliers Association, Victorian Chapter which was established in 1994.
From February to May 1999 Grant was a presenter on the popular and highly-acclaimed 'Wine Lovers Guide to Australia', a 13-part SBS television series. Production on a second series has begun, with screening scheduled for early in 2001. He also writes regularly for Elle Cuisine magazine, and contributes to The Melbourne Herald Sun, The Wine Magazine, Silks and New Asia Cuisine Scene. In his spare time...sorry he has no spare time, as evidenced by his static and very ordinary golf handicap.
Four wines, three chefs, endless possibilities, part two
The main course and four Pinot Noirs from the Mornington Peninsula, Central Otago and Burgundy.
Four wines, three chefs, endless possibilities, part one
As a trade promotion to launch the Kooyong label, Grant Van Every engaged three top chefs to put together a menu to complement four Chardonnays and four Pinot Noirs.
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