Corner Ridge Road &
Mt Dandenong Tourist Road
Olinda (03) 9751 2033
Lunch & Dinner
Wednesday - Sunday
As Executive Chef and owner of Wild Oak Restaurant and Cooking School, Ben Higgs drive and passion for food was born from the desperation of being fed vegemite and cheese sandwiches nearly every lunch for 4 years by his hardworking and less than culinary experimental mother.
He started at the bottom end of food service just after his 15th birthday, working weekends, nights and holidays washing pots, cutting and peeling vegetables and cooking less than glamorous fare to get kitchen experience. At 16, Ben left school to commence an apprenticeship in commercial cookery. The excitement and adrenaline rushing through the kitchen far outweighed the shock of working 8am-10pm, 5 days
a week. The hat seemed to fit.
Ben was fortunate to complete the last 3 years of
his apprenticeship under one of Melbourne’s finest
French chefs, Jacques Heraudeau, at his highly acclaimed and award winning South Melbourne restaurant La Madrague. Ben spent many years at some of Victoria’s best dining rooms including second chef position at the award winning 5 star Eleanor’s Restaurant at Chateau Yering.
Ben has achieved his career ambition to own and operate
his own restaurant, purchasing the iconic
hills eatery the Wild Oak. He has been awarded
Yarra Valley and Ranges Restaurant of the year,
Menu of the year and One chefs torque in the Australian Good Food Guide.
Ben has been invited to represent Australian chefs and food in such destinations as Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Vietnam. Traveling extensively to broaden his culinary knowledge, he has also expanded Wild Oak into gourmet catering and now the cooking school.