Header images: Southern Coral Coast (image: Australia's Coral Coast); Perth (Tourism Australia) and Little Creatures brewery; Mereweather Beach, Newcastle (Tourism Australia)
Dave Pynt preparing fennel, burrata, cheese and orange oil; the Burnt Ends sanger
Chef hometown: Perth, Western Australia
Time away from Australia: 6 ½ years
First thing I do when I go back to Perth: Go to our family home and have a sloe gin negroni.
First meal I eat back in Aus: A family barbecue.
Home-cooked meal that most reminds me of growing up: The family barbecue. Whether it's a mustard-crusted beef rump on the rotisserie or whole fish on the barbecue, it's always a meal I crave.
Favourite coffee shops and restaurants discovered in Australia since leaving: There are too many to list – in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Tasmania. It's such an exciting time to be eating around Australia at the moment.
Inside Little Creatures brewery, Freemantle (images: Tourism Australia)
Hidden gems in Perth and the surrounding area: It may not be so hidden but I always love visiting the Little Creatures brewery or heading to the Yallingup bakery post surf and devouring a freshly baked fruit loaf.
Dish that sums up where I’m from: I don’t think one dish sums up Perth, but rather having a barbecue at the beach with friends and family in summer is a must.
Sweets or candy I remember fondly from home: I'm a sucker for a summer roll and also humbugs – my dad used to keep them in the car.
Brett Graham and his Berkshire muntjac dish at The Ledbury
Chef hometown: Newcastle, New South Wales
Time away from Australia: 17 years
First thing I do when I go back to Newcastle: Have breakfast at Mereweather Beach then swim in the ocean. I miss the open sea.
First meal I eat back in New South Wales: I always stop with my parents at Bill’s in Surry Hills for the sweetcorn fritters. I like to have lunch at Quay, which has one of the most amazing views anywhere. Peter Gilmore is a phenomenal chef and I love his cooking.
Something no tourist should leave without trying: Fish and chips on Newcastle Harbour while watching the coal ships come in.
Fish and chips, Aussie-style (image: Katie Quinn Davies)
Home-cooked meal that most reminds me of growing up: It has to be Mum’s salmon lasagne made with tinned salmon, cheese sauce and spring onions – it’s my Mum’s signature dish and she has it mastered.
Favourite coffee shops and restaurants discovered in Australia since leaving: The food and coffee scene in Newcastle has improved so much since I lived there. Places like Muse Restaurant, Subo and Restaurant Mason have shown the way.
Hidden gems in New South Wales and the surrounding area: In Hunter Valley it has to be Robert Molines at Bistro Molines. It’s a very special place with food cooked by a very special man.
Sweets or candy I remember fondly from home: Growing up, I used to eat Turner’s famous fruit blocks. I also used to pretend I was smoking a musk sweet called ‘Fags.’ (I think they changed the name so as not to encourage children to take up smoking!)
David Thompson and caramelised taro at Nahm
Chef hometown: Sydney, New South Wales (although Bangkok is my real home)
Time away from Australia: 30 years
First thing I do when I go back to Sydney: I love walking through the botanical gardens, usually starting from the top of the Domain, near the Art Gallery, then down to the harbour and around to the Opera House. It’s a stirring stroll and one that makes me fall in love with Sydney’s beauty each and every time.
Favourite restaurants and coffee shops discovered since leaving Australia: Just up the street from Long Chim, there's a little bar and restaurant that I like: Hubert. And how grateful I am for it to be so close. It is sophisticated and wonderfully louche, the very combination I think Sydney is – or should be if those accursed lock-out laws did not so restrict the natural inclination of the city and its denizens.
Melon surprise at Restaurant Hubert (image: Keith Webb)
First thing I eat when I go home: Well, Bangkok is home. I have lived there on and off for nigh on 30 years. But Sydney food… well, there’s just so much and at every style and level, though I confess I have not been able to enjoy such places as much as I would like to. Opening up Long Chim [in Sydney] has eaten up all my time, which means I have not had the chance to eat what I’d like.
Home-cooked meal that most reminds me of growing up: The smell of Worcestershire sauce sprinkled over golden roast chicken fresh from the oven is my madeleine moment: one that transports me ambrosial to my mother’s kitchen.
Sweets or candy remembered fondly from home: Please don’t tell anyone but I love mock cream [canned cream]. I remember with relish mock cream buns at school. My epicurean nose should wrinkle in disgust, however I cannot but revel in its undisguised artificial flavours and ingredients. Heaven!