Adam D’Sylva has established an enviable reputation as one of Australia’s most prominent chefs.
Co-owner and Executive Chef of award-winning restaurants Tonka and Coda, Adam’s Indian-Italian heritage has given him a foundation in contrasting cuisines. With this and his formal training, he has become one of the best and more innovative chefs in Melbourne.
Adam’s interest in cooking began as a child growing up in a mixed Indian/Italian family where his mother was a major influence on his decision to follow his passion for cooking. He began his apprenticeship at the Hilton on the Park in Melbourne before working as a chef at Cosi in South Yarra. Adam then explored his love of food, travelling through Europe and Asia and working in restaurants in the Marche region of Italy and Hong Kong.
On his return to Australia, Adam became Head Chef under Geoff Lindsay at Pearl and then Head Chef at Longrain Melbourne for Martin Boetz.
In 2008, Adam won The Age Good Food Guide’s Young Chef of the Year and as part of his award travelled to New York to work with Thomas Keller at Per Se, arguably one of America’s best restaurants. Adam was also twice awarded Lexus Young Chef of the Year award for Victoria.
In 2009, Adam opened Coda in Melbourne’s Flinders Lane with partners Mykal and Kate Bartholomew. Coda’s menu draws inspiration from across the globe, blending Asian and European tastes and techniques. Coda achieves an atmosphere that is relaxed but also serves good food and wine in an unstructured way.
In 2013, Adam opened Tonka on the former site of iconic nightclub Honky Tonks, also right in the middle of Melbourne’s ‘golden mile’. The menu looks more to his paternal heritage celebrating the vibrancy of Indian techniques and flavours.
Coda and Tonka were both awarded, and have maintained, One Chef’s Hat in The Age Good Food Guide since opening.
Adam has appeared all of Australia’s major television networks on shows including MasterChef Australia, Everyday Gourmet, The Chef’s Line and Ready Steady Cook. He is also a regular presence at Australia’s best food and wine festivals.