Alastair McLeod is a chef, television personality, ambassador and corporate host with an unbridled enthusiasm for all things food. Bestowed with the gift of the gab and a quick wit, Alastair is a popular master of ceremonies and guest speaker who brings his unique humour and professionalism to any event. Best known from his roles on Channel Seven’s Great Day Out and Network 10’s Ready Steady Cook, Alastair also has a recipe column in the Brisbane News and his Irish brogue is frequently heard on ABC and 4BC radio.
He travels around Australia on a regular basis to host large corporate functions, food shows and outdoor events. Alastair is the national MC for the Good Food and Wine Show and this year will present at the Noosa Food and Wine Festival, Felton Food Festival and Taste Port Douglas. Since 2014, Alastair has been the food ambassador of the Lockyer Valley region and is responsible for hosting media functions, attending regular events and raising awareness for the region dubbed ‘The Salad Bowl of Queensland’.
The much loved chef and TV personality has roots deeply entrenched in far north Queensland: his grandfather hailed from Erub Island in the eastern Torres Strait. His mother Faye McLeod, was raised on a remote cane farm in the tropics before travelling the world as an accomplished jazz performer and actress. Alastair was born in Belfast, the son of a proud Northern Irish man, and grew up through the height of ‘The Troubles’ conflict in the region.
Being part of such a multicultural family, Alastair was encouraged to experience a large range of cuisines and a career in cooking ensued. His experience in the kitchen is extensive; he’s worked at Michelin listed restaurants across the world, such as Roscoff in Belfast, United Kingdom and Da Giovanni in Torino, Italy. He’s also worked at La Fregate in Collioure, France and one of Scotland’s finest restaurants The Ubiquitous Chip in Glasgow. After his classical training in Europe, Alastair decided to follow in the steps of his forefathers and chose Queensland as his home.
His Australian tenures have included roles as executive chef at the Brisbane stalwart Baguette which, under Alastair’s stewardship, won back to back Restaurant and Caterer awards and saw the restaurant inducted into the hall of fame. After a lengthy spell at Brett’s Wharf he established Tank Restaurant and Bar in Brisbane’s CBD that was named in Australia’s hot 50 restaurants two years running, achieved 17/20 in the Courier Mail, 4/5 in The Australian and a coveted chef’s hat. More recently, Alastair launched Al’FreshCo; his own business that provides small and large scale catering to private and corporate clients.