Arguably Australia’s most famous TV chef and restauranteur Neil Perry has announced his retirement, although it’s unclear if the 63-year old plans to step away from his multiple media duties.
Perry is best known for his lauded Rockpool restaurants and media commitments over the years that have made him a household name in Australia and overseas.
The celebrity chef has appeared on Channel Nine’s food program, Fresh and being a major presenter on channel the digital subscribers network, Foxtel, on the LifeStyle and LifeStyle Food channels in Australia and on BBC2 in Britain. He has also recently starred on Martha Stewart’s shows.
He has also been a celebrity judge on 10’s MasterChef and is a regular contributor to Nine’s The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald mastheads.
Perry has also penned 10 cookbooks over his career and has reportedly amassed a $20 million fortune.
Back in 2016, Perry sold his Rockpool Group, that at the time included some 47 venues, to the Urban Purveyor Group for $60 million. The merger formed the Quadrant Private Equity and has since risen to 80 venues.
There had been reports that Perry wanted to buy his restaurants back from Quadrant as the relationship had become an uneasy one as Quadrant pursued mass, lower-end eateries, although it appears CV-19 has since torpedoed any deal. Many of the business’s top-end diners remain closed due to the pandemic.
In a media release announcing Perry’s retirement, Rockpool Dining Group said the chef would now focus on his charitable work, including the Hope Delivery initiative to provide free meals for the vulnerable.
Perry said in the release: “As the business now needs to embark on a new chapter, it is time for a fresh start.
“It will never be easy to move on from the restaurants I founded, and I do so with a heavy heart, but as the business and the sector set their sights on new beginnings, it is the right time for the next generation to have the opportunity afforded to me over 40 years ago,” he said.
Perry will no longer be Rockpool Dining Group’s culinary director but will remain a consultant and a shareholder.
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