partner bios

Luke Mangan

In addition to South, Luke is currently the Chef/Owner of Glass Brassiere in the Sydney Hilton, which was recently awarded a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, and Salt, Tokyo in Japan.

Luke Mangan began his culinary career in his native Australia but honed his craft at the Waterside Inn, the world renowned 3 Michelin star restaurant on the River Thames in England. Luke’s first venture, Salt, opened in Sydney in 1999 and was awarded the coveted Sydney Morning Herald award for Best New Restaurant in 2000.  After meeting Richard Branson while dining at Salt, Richard invited Luke to cook for him on Necker, his private island as a celebrity guest chef.  Since then, Luke has worked as a consultant for the Virgin Group.

Luke has written three best selling cookbooks and he won the Chef’s Category in the GQ Man of the Year Awards in 2003. Luke regularly appears on a number of food TV shows, both in Australia and internationally, including twelve appearances on NBC’s  “Today Show” in New York and as the “roving food reporter” for the “Today Show Australia”.  Luke was recently appointed a “Healthy Active Ambassador” by the Australian government to support its efforts to raise awareness about healthy living and body weight, particularly among young people. Luke regularly donates his culinary skills to community and industry organisations and is the founder of the Australian culinary competition, “Lexus Young Chef & Young Waiter of the Year”

Luke is heralded as one of Australia’s best chefs and highly regarded internationally as a shining example of the excellence of Australia’s food and wine culture. For more on Luke, please visit

Anna Weinberg

South is the second restaurant Anna Weinberg has owned. After moving from New Zealand to New York City in1997, Anna worked for restaurateurs David Bouley  and Jonathan Waxman. In September of 2001, Anna opened her own restaurant, Stella in Soho. Stella received exceptional reviews from the New York Times and numerous other major food publications. Additionally, while in New York, Anna was an on air food correspondent for Metro TV’s Naked New York. Since relocating to San Francisco in 2004, Anna has worked in management roles at Town Hall and Ame Restaurant at the St. Regis. Anna was born and raised in New Zealand where her family are winegrowers for Villa Maria in the Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

Liz O’Connell

Prior to starting South, Liz O’Connell was Vice President and executive team member at Foster’s Wine Estates Americas, owner of leading global wine brands like Beringer, Rosemount, Penfolds and Wolf Blass. Liz has held numerous non profit and board positions including Chairwoman of Wine Australia USA and the Communications Council of the California Wine Institute. She continues to sit on the Wine Council of Copia, the American Center for Food, Wine and the Arts and is on the board of Advance, Australian Global Professionals. Liz has worked in international marketing in Japan and the USA since 1992 but was born and raised in Australia, where her family owns Mandalay Road, a boutique West Australian winery.