Clever and thoughtful are some of words used to described Alanna Sapwell’s cooking. Her emphasis on ethically raised and sourced produce, which supports Australia’s farming industry, is front and centre of Alanna’s celebration of local suppliers.

A passion for cooking from a young age led Alanna to an apprenticeship at The River House in Noosa before international travel summoned. She cheffed in Florence, Italy and Hakuba, a village in the Japanese Alps. Returning home, Alanna focussed on her pastry skills, firstly at Brisbane’s degustation-focused Urban, then as head pastry chef at Aquitaine Brasserie and Gerard’s Bistro. Josh Niland mentored her business skills at Saint Peter, which she benefited from as head chef in the kitchen of Arc Dining at Brisbane’s Howard Smith Wharves. After Arc’s sudden closure Alanna decided to try her own operation with a pop-up restaurant. Esmay opened in July 2020 and is situated on the Noosa River. Menu listings will depend on what’s available locally day-to-day with a heavy emphasis on local producers.

Position: owner of pop-up Esmay