Celebrity Chef | Restaurateur | Entrepreneur | Public Speaker
With a career spanning fine dining establishments around the world, David Bitton is the owner and managing director of The Bitton Group. A Paris-born and -trained chef, he began his apprenticeship at the age of 15 and seemed destined to take a traditional European career path. A chance meeting changed all that.
While working at La Fontine in Switzerland, David fell in with a group of Australians who convinced him their homeland was the place to be. He applied for residency on the spot. He packed his two suitcases and arrived in Sydney, Australia, on Anzac Day in 1991, with only $1000 to his name and not one word of English.
Within five years, a talented and determined David had secured the Head Chef position at Gekko restaurant in Sydney’s Sheraton on the Park, where he soon gained recognition as a leading Australian culinary figure. It gave him artistic freedom and the experience of cooking for such international figures as singer Janet Jackson, Soviet leader Mikhaïl Gorbachev and the International Olympic Committee under Juan Antonio Samaranch.
In 1997, David married Sohani, his future business partner. Three years later, the pair left their corporate careers and opened a tiny 20-seater café in Alexandria. In their household kitchen, they began creating a unique range of gourmet products, inspired by David’s French training and Sohani’s South African-Indian heritage. Overnight success was met with demand for more and Bitton Gourmet products was born.
Since then, the Bitton brand has grown to include two 100-seater restaurants, a product range distributed nationally and internationally, and a food consultancy business. David has also written two books: a cookbook, Bitton: A French-inspired Café Cookbook which sold an unprecedented 60,000 copies; and his autobiography, Chopped and Served.
Despite the brand’s success, Bitton remains a family owned and run business with a focus on giving back to both the industry and the communities that have supported him. David is a member of Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) Sydney, and counts Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a long-standing business and family friend. He is a speaker circuit regular with a unique story, 30 years of experience to draw on and a refreshing charm.