Damian Brabender

Executive Chef & Owner

OTIS Dining Hall

Canberra, Australia

Chef Damian Brabender began his cooking journey in his small home town of 9,000 people in Portland, Victoria, Australia. Making the move from country town to London, Chef Damian became one of the youngest head chefs to run the kitchens at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and even served up fare for the British royal family. Gaining valuable experience working with industry legends such as Pierre Koffmann, Antonio Carluccio and Michel Roux Jr, Chef Damian returned to Australia ready to expand his passion into the luxury hotels space. He became Executive Chef of Emirates Wolgan Valley, Australia’s number one hotel. Here he shared his kitchens with internationally renowned chefs, Neil Perry, Brett Graham and again Antonio Carluccio for many collaborations and events.


Chef Damian then moved to the nation’s capital to open his first standalone restaurant, OTIS Dining Hall. Quickly being recognized for its attention to detail and elevated dining, OTIS became known as “the go-to restaurant during truffle season” and was also awarded Best New Restaurant.


Chef Damian’s passion for truffles saw him hosting groups of 60+ chefs from around Australia, taking them “on the hunt” to experience the full truffle harvesting process first hand, before in-depth cooking demonstrations and educational talks about the prized ingredient. In addition to professional chefs, over 10,000 foodie aficionados have braved the Canberra winters and joined Damian on this culinary expedition, including Queen Camilla.


Damian Brabender has held two prestigious Chef Hats in the Australian Good Food Guide for 5 years running, and has been named Australian Chef of the Year in 2017 and Restauranteur of the year in 2022 among many other accolades. With various television, radio, festival events and other media appearances, Chef Damian’s relaxed approach to using truffles and his entertaining talks and demonstrations have empowered many people to gain the confidence and skills they need to celebrate truffles in their own cooking.