Mark joined Baillie Lodges as Sous Chef at Longitude 131° in 2017 before quickly being promoted to Executive Chef in 2018. He’s recently traded the red desert dunes for the lush Daintree Rainforest to take on the role as Executive Chef at Silky Oaks Lodge.Read Mark's Story
There are many career success stories about the Baillie Lodge team members – stories of moving between lodges and of rewarding career progression. Cooper started at Capella Lodge in 2004 as a fourth year Apprentice Chef. Fast forward to 2015 with time spent in the kitchen at Southern Ocean Lodge, Cooper returned to Capella as Executive Chef.
During the years in between he developed his skills, advanced his career by working both overseas and at Southern Ocean Lodge where he advanced from Chef De Partie to Sous Chef.
Dining at Baillie Lodges is a wholly sensory experience, it’s a union of sights, scents and tastes and is a reflection of the surrounding natural environment. A daily-changing menu featuring local ingredients allows guests to truly immerse in the environment and get a ‘taste’ for the destination.
For Cooper, working within an organisation that values food as an integral part of its overall philosophy is not only gratifying, it’s essential. He’s able to integrate his real passion for using fresh produce to create his innovative, contemporary menus. The growing fruit and vegetable cultivation taking place on Lord Howe Island along with his passion for foraging allows Cooper to source the freshest local produce.
Living and working on Lord Howe Island allows Cooper to be a part of the community and combine his passion for food, fishing and surfing – being an Avalon Beach local, having the ocean nearby was important!
‘I’m a chef with a love of dining ‘locavore’ style so Lord Howe Island is a pretty perfect place to be,’ Cooper said.