The Appellation team
Ryan grew up on a small mixed farm just outside Lyndoch, here in the Barossa Valley. He has a genuine connection to the land and a love of real food and food traditions. Originally studying engineering, he then switched in his final year to a career that had become his passion and went on to complete a cookery apprenticeship. He continued to broaden his experience through working in deluxe resorts in far North Queensland and the Gold Coast before returning to the Barossa in 2004 eventually joining the team at Appellation in 2008.
He brings to the team a positive, nurturing, can-do attitude, and his hands on approach to maintaining old food ways can be clearly seen in his passion for brewing, baking and generally following a philosophy that sees ethical eating, low food miles, and the sustainability of food resources as central to good food at any level.
Being a total motor enthusiast, it is fitting that Jamie started cooking to pay for his first car, washing dishes and dressing pizzas on weekends and school holidays. But as fate would have it, he got the cooking bug and sealed his future with a National win for pizza making at only 17 years old. Jamie’s rise to the top is a story we are really proud of as he is one of the original Appellation kitchen crew, starting his apprenticeship here 9 years ago. Jamie continues to love what he does and his most notable career highlight in his words “working with Peter Gilmore was pretty darn cool!”.
And if he was stuck on a deserted island what would he take? “My gorgeous wife (naturally), my minis (he got his first faithful when he was 14 and still shows it) for something to do, and potatoes. I love potatoes! I would be extra happy if there were wild pigs, that would make the island wonderful”.
Other than cooking and cars he’s also really into wine, but not all at once. Jamie is often referred to as ‘chef de builder’ as he’s very mechanically minded, thinking like an engineer, always building and creating. And our taste buds are all the better for it…
It’s very likely that the smiling person greeting you as you arrive at Appellation is our lovely restaurant manager Emma, and she’s all about a genuine welcome. Emma grew up in the southern highlands of NSW, in a town called Bowral which she describes as similar to the Barossa in the way that it is regional but only an hour and 15mins drive to a major city. The second she finished school, Emma moved to Sydney and got her hands stuck into hospitality.
We all know that once this industry is in your blood, you’re hooked. And the reason…is that hospitality is a celebration of food and wine, which suits Emma to a tee. In fact she loves food and (mostly) wine so much she and partner moved to the Barossa to eat and drink! Not exactly but you can tell by the way she talks, her photographs on Instagram, her happy grin at tastings, that she is very at home in a region which truly celebrates what grows so well here. Emma’s passion and positivity along with her kindness, grace and calm mean a restaurant full of happy guests and a very happy crew.
A hospitality professional, Cass joined Appellation in 2008 and has been part of the key front-of-house team ever since. A Barossan local through and through, Cass grew up in the glorious altitudes of the beautiful Eden Valley and helped her parents run the well-known local pub. Her previous roles in the industry have included front-of-house stints at local wineries and restaurants as well as time as a chef at a local bistro. And even within the Appellation surrounds she has been involved in several facets of the restaurant at a management level, with her current role supervising the daily running of Appellation as well as guiding Appellation’s award-winning wine list.
Naturally curious and studious by nature, Cass has a number of educational achievements under her belt. These include Court of Master Sommeliers wine certificate, WSET certificate, participation in the Negociants ‘Working with Wine Fellowship” and one not to shy away from a challenge she currently studies Business Management (when she’s not squirreling about in Appellation’s 500-strong wine cellar). Aside from travel, baking and time with her husband, animals and friends, Cass’s aim is to embrace all opportunities and challenges. And we think she does a pretty good job of it!