August 11 - 14 2022 Stay & Explore

Bente Grysbaek

At 6 ft. 2, Danish Chef Bente cuts an imposing figure, even when she’s not holding a knife. Her passion for food began at the age of 5, on the 20 acre family farm in Denmark, standing on a crate next to the stove, watching her mother cook.

Upon graduating from culinary school in 1997, Bente struck out for bright lights of Copenhagen where she ended up working for one of the most recognized chefs, Francis Cardenau 2* Michelin, owner of Le Sommelier and Umami. Francis Cardenau became Bente’s mentor and culinary father.

In 2004 she went on a culinary journey to Australia where she worked at Yering Station in the Yarra Valley. She has since settled in Melbourne with her Australian husband and their two children.

Shortly after moving to Melbourne she became the face of Denmark House, a Nordic Bar and Restaurant in the CBD. For 9 years this was her home away from home and introducing Danish food to Melbournians worked as the perfect bandage for homesickness.

During her years she had many career highlights. She was the private chef to HRH Princess Mary and HRH Crown Prince Fredrick during their 10day holiday in Australia. She was the brainchild and host of many Nordic culinary events with industry heavyweights, such as Rene Redzepi from NOMA, Magnus Nilsson
from Fäviken, Rasmus Kofoed from Geranium and more.

Furthermore she participated in a popular Danish Masterchef reality series, running for 8 episodes. She showcased Danish food on the iconic Food Safari, Danish and Food Safari Earth airing on SBS.

Late 2017 Bente felt a change coming. 25 years of pressure and stress was catching up with her. She turned to nature for relief and healing, taking her back to her childhood farm-life. She left commercial kitchens and began cooking food over fire in off grid locations around Victoria.

That eventually led to her launching her own catering business called Off The Grid in Australia, specialising in theatrical and memorable, culinary experiences. With undertones of her Viking heritage her food is rustic, theatric, sometimes violent, but most importantly a tribute to nature.

Her story and unique way of cooking quickly caught the interest of media and a movie was made about her journey. The movie BURNT won two short-movie awards in Las Vegas and New York City.

When Bente is not off grid cooking over a wood fire, she spends her time at Pope Joan Cafe in Melbourne CBD. A gorgeous venue, with a wood fired grill, specialising in local produce. She excepted the position as head chef early 2021 and you can find her there most days Monday to Friday.

If you would like to get in touch with Bente please contact her through her website