Barry Vera is an accomplished chef, cookbook author and television presenter who enjoys sharing his passion for food, whether in the kitchen creating dishes, directing his team of chefs across the world, writing about his wonderful food-inspired experiences or sharing them on television. Barry is currently Chef Director for The ONE Group Europe, a New York based company that is rapidly growing in the US, UK and across Europe, the Middle East & Asia with its ME Hotels and restaurant brands Cucina Asellina, STK and Radio.
Barry was born and raised in Sheffield in a family which had an interest in food and cooking. From a young age Barry learned not only to enjoy food but to experiment, create and discover, something that he encourages his own son, Jack, to do. He believes parents have a responsibility to expand their children’s palates at an early age and get them on a path to healthy eating while young and he seeks to raise awareness of this whenever he can.
Since gaining his classical training by studying at Granville College in Sheffield, Barry’s culinary journey has taken him to all corners of the world, from the Conran Restaurants and Marco Pierre White Restaurants in the UK, to France, Canada, South Africa and Australia. On his return from Australia, Barry was Executive Chef and partner of The Clarendon in Chandlers Cross for nearly three years. “The Clarendon would take you on a culinary adventure and leave you wanting for more. I was involved with The Clarendon for nearly 3 years, during the build project, design, kitchen design and interior fit out. It was a truly remarkable experience to be involved in a restaurant from the ground up. To design your own kitchen is a chef’s dream.”
Barry has worked as Head Chef in Michelin starred establishments and reputable fine dining restaurants such as Le Pont de la Tour, Quaglinos & Cantina, Marco Pierre Whites’ Les Saveurs & MPW & The Waldorf in the UK as well as serving as Executive Chef at Blues Restaurant in Camps Bay and the Table Bay Hotel on the waterfront of Cape Town Harbour in South Africa.
Barry moved to Melbourne in 2001 as Executive Chef at the famous Mansion Hotel and opened his own restaurant, ‘vera’ to rave reviews on Valentine’s Day 2006, with one of Barry’s creations being named one of the top dishes to eat in Melbourne for 2006. Barry was also voted ‘An Icon of Australian Food’ by Vogue Entertaining & Travel in their 25th Birthday Edition.
Barry is also the presenter and writer of ‘Feast’, a television series on the Discovery Channel which takes viewers on a culinary and cultural journey through exotic destinations such as India, Morocco ,Syria and Greece and was aired in over 80 countries. In addition, he has written cookbooks, including “Feast Bazaar” based on the series and “The Home Cook” which contains some of his favourite recipes.
This year Barry was presented with the prestigious Concept & Innovation Chef Award by the Craft Guild of Chefs, the leading industry organisation.