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Meet the team at EPIcURIOUS travel, who collaborate to provide a seamless, personalised service on each and every memorable journey.


 

Jennifer Wilkinson Owner / Director

Jennifer has a life-long passion for food, wine and travel. Following a successful career in economics and industrial relations, she left her profession to pursue her passions. After a year travelling and working in Europe, Jennifer returned to Australia and purchased a historic property in Beechworth, North East Victoria, which she turned into the highly acclaimed gourmet retreat, Finches of Beechworth. After 12 rewarding years at Finches she sold the business and established EPIcURIOUS travel, which combines Jennifer’s love for active travel with her expertise in providing great food, wine and hospitality. Jennifer is directly involved in her business, sometimes guiding and cooking on her Australian trips, as well as leading her tours in India, Italy, Spain and Peru. When she’s not travelling you will find Jennifer testing out new restaurants, finding the best local coffee and walking her dog Zephyr.

Meredith Zavattiero

Meredith joined EPIcURIOUS in June 2016 to provide administrative support. With a diverse career spent largely in the hotel and wholesale travel industries, Meredith brings a comprehensive understanding of the behind the scenes requirements for organizing seamless travel.

Together with her husband and two daughters, and occasionally even her dog, Meredith has travelled widely, whether it be extended explorations through Europe or simple cycling & camping expeditions within Australia, and is always dreaming of her next adventure.

 

Adrien Butler – Australia & United Kingdom

Adrien has been a lead guide with Epicurious travel for many seasons on the Larapinta trail and has been involved in the development of our new itineraries in the Cotswolds, Scotland and more recently Tasmania. She is one of our most accomplished guides, with extensive experience guiding in Australia and New Zealand and qualifications in Leadership & Guiding, Outdoor Recreation, Rafting and Tourism. Adrien’s home base is Tasmania, where she guides during the warmer months, and has been instrumental in the establishment of an association for guides in Tasmania. In May 2019 Adrien spent time traversing the numerous walking trails in the Cotswolds to assist us in choosing the most outstanding walking options and activities for this new tour, and has been actively involved in developing the nature based elements of our south east Tasmania tour. In her limited free time, Adrien is also an avid international traveller, trekking and exploring many diverse and interesting destinations.

Michael Ryan – Japan & North East Victoria

Michael Ryan is one of regional Australia’s most respected chefs. With partner Jeanette Henderson, he is the owner of Provenance Restaurant in Beechworth, north-east Victoria, which in 2013 won Best Regional restaurant with Michael named as Chef of the Year. Michael has travelled and lived in Japan where he developed a passion for the intricacies of Japanese cuisine and culture. Michael’s warm and engaging nature is perfectly suited to leading culinary journeys. He is described as “generously sharing his deep knowledge and passion for Japan.”  His personal connections to prominent locals in the fast changing food and sake scene allow him to showcase the very best of Japan to guests.

Nina Neyland – Australia

Nina is from Bruny Island in Tasmania and has been guiding for the last few years on The Bruny Island Long Weekend, Three Capes Lodge and Bay of Fires walk. She has also worked as lodge host and in hospitality in Tasmania and Melbourne after completing  a Certificate 3 qualification in Adventure guiding. She loves the challenge of taking on a totally new environment in Central Australia and learning about the unique flora, fauna and geology on the Larapinta trail. Her passion for food and wine has made her the perfect fit for the culinary expertise needed for our outback kitchen.
Nina’s kind and generous approach to life ensures guests have a fun, informative, delicious and extremely comfortable time on the Larapinta trail.

Luke Burgess – Tasmania

After finishing his apprenticeship at Tetsuya’s in Sydney, Luke travelled to Europe before returning to Australia to embark on a career in freelance food and travel photography. In 2006 Luke and his partner moved to Tasmania in search of a culinary adventure, and soon after opened Pecora Café south of Hobart. Inspired by a stint at Copenhagen’s Noma, Luke then opened Garagistes in Hobart, creating a casual communal environment that specialised in natural wines and produce sourced from Tasmania. Garagistes quickly resonated with the public and in 2011 Luke won best new Talent in the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant awards and scored two stars in the Gourmet Traveller restaurant guide. In 2014 Luke and his business partners decided to close Garagistes to pursue other ventures.
Since closing Garagistes Luke has cooked in 8 different countries in collaboration with industry colleagues and started a company that specialises in consulting to new and small hospitality businesses with little or minimal exposure to the industry.
In collaboration with his friend Michael Ryan from Provenance in Beechworth, he is co author /photographer of the book “Only in Tokyo.”
 

Christine Manfield – Australia

Christine Manfield is one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs – a curious cook and a perfectionist inspired by the culinary melting pot of global flavours. As an award-winning author, her books – A Personal Guide to India & Bhutan, Dessert Divas, Tasting India, Fire, Spice, Stir, Paramount Cooking and Paramount Desserts have spiced up the lives of keen cooks everywhere. She regularly contributes food and travel features to magazines.
Having recently migrated from Sydney in early 2020, she now calls the Tweed coast home. The Tweed Valley is nestled in the green caldera of the largest shield volcano in the southern hemisphere, set amongst world heritage rainforests with dramatic mountain ranges, rich red volcanic soil and lush farmlands.
She’s now discovering and supporting local farmers and artisan producers, sourcing seasonal organic produce in her region and this informs what she cooks in her kitchen.

Jim Hughes – Spain

Jim is Canadian born of Argentine parents and lives with his wife and two children in the beautiful city of Granada. Armed with an English Literature degree and a love of the Hispanic world, Jim left his native Canada to move to Spain and enter the world of tourism where he could enjoy his passions of walking and gastronomy. 

Iñaki Rubio

Born and resident in San Sebastian, Iñaki gained an Honours degree in English at Deusto University, San Sebastián. Following his university studies, Iñaki realized he was primarily an outdoors person and he swapped the classroom, where had begun working as a teacher, for a life of outdoors experiences all over Spain and Portugal. Now with seventeen yearsexperience in  guiding luxury private travel, with a special expertise and focus on Basque wine and gastronomy, Iñaki is the perfect host for this Spanish adventure. His many years’ experience as a tour guide have gained him many insider contacts along the way, especially in the Basque Country and its La Rioja wine region.

Paloma Trillo – Spain

Paloma was born in a small fishing town near Finisterre, the Spanish land’s end, but now  lives in Santiago de Compostela. With a love of travel and art history, Paloma has worked as a guide throughout Spain,  and particularly Galicia, for 6 years, after living in Ireland, French Brittany and Cuba. Keen on hiking, music, animals, dancing and  history, Paloma has walked the Camino several times and loves to help people make the most of this ancient pilgrimage.

The Office Director – The World is his oyster

The Epicurious travel office would positively fall apart without the continuous support and vigilance of ‘The Office Director’, aka Zephyr. Presiding over daily duties from his Director’s chair, Zephyr ensures new visitors are thoroughly vetted, boundaries are safe and secure and a sense of calm is maintained in the office by offering free tummy rubs and hugs. The Director’s other skills include recycling: shredding papers and tipping up bins to ensure no tasty morsels go to waste, conserving energy: sleeping – a lot, and looking generally pretty spunky. It’s a hard job, but somedoggy’s got to do it.