Born in El Salvador and raised in Brisbane, Josue (Josh) Lopez has worked in some of Brisbane and Europe’s most acclaimed restaurants.
Set to be based at the new flagship Emporium Hotel Southpoint in South Bank (opening mid-2018), Josh will have full control over the direction of the Hotel’s dining options, leading a dedicated team in creating the menu and flavour proposition for the yet-to-be-named signature restaurant, rooftop bar, piano bar, Belle Époque Patisserie, in-suite dining and conferencing and events.
Sister to Emporium Hotel Fortitude Valley, Australia’s most awarded boutique luxury hotel, Emporium Hotel Southpoint will see Josh continue to showcase his passion for fusing art with taste, using local, seasonal and indigenous ingredients.
In September 2017, Josh concluded a five-year tenure as Executive Chef for QAGOMA, where he was awarded a prestigious two hats by the Brisbane Times Good Food Guide in 2016 and CITI Chef of the Year, as well an Australian Gourmet Traveller Star for 2017. In November 2014, Josh presented his contemporary Australian cuisine for the leaders’ working dinner at QAGOMA for the Brisbane G20 summit. He also appeared in the most recent season of MasterChef, setting a pressure test challenge for contestants.
Prior to this, Josh worked as head chef at iconic Brisbane restaurants Moda and Two Small Rooms, and in 2011 he spent three months working under René Redzepi at Copenhagen’s noma – repeatedly named the best restaurant in the world. As a young chef he also worked at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze in London.
The force behind Brisbane’s Moda Restaurant and Moda Events Portside, Javier is acknowledged as a leading figure in the dynamic local food industry, gaining a host of awards and invitations to present at a number of internationally-recognised food events, while using his profile to support several special charities.
In 1999 Javier became a founding partner and Executive Chef of the classic restaurant, Gianni’s, that would become Moda, quickly establishing a distinctive, imaginative style in the kitchen, a loyal following from patrons, and respect from peers and critics alike.
Business partner, Francois Le Saveant manages front of house with great attention to detail, brings exceptional wine knowledge and his charming manner endears him to all. In the 2016 Good Food Guide, Francois was awarded the Citi Service Excellence Award.
Javier’s inspired, inventive dishes capture the essence of his cultural influences – Catalan, French and Italian – meshed with his professional expertise and the freshest local produce. His excellent relationship with growers, fishers and suppliers allows him to secure the best local and national produce, personally visiting the markets most mornings before daylight to select ingredients which fuel his daily inspiration.