Matt Preston

When Matt Preston came to a Winter Scarf Dinner in 2011, everyone from our diners to our current crop of trainees and mentors were a bit flabbergasted. As it turns out, he loved his Scarf experience and is a big believer in using hospitality to create change in communities. In 2015, we were chuffed for Matt to officially join the fold as a Scarf Ambassador, which sees him hosting our annual Do More Than Dine fundraising dinner and helping spread the word about Scarf far and wide. If Matt looks familiar, that's because he's an award-winning food journalist, best-selling cookbook author and International TV Personality. He writes a weekly column for delicious on Sunday read by four million Australians every week. He is also a senior editor for delicious and taste magazines, and contributes to one of Australia’s best read website, with a monthly reach of  two million food lovers. Best known from his role as a judge and co-host on MasterChef Australia, Preston appeared in eleven series of the ratings juggernaut as well as one series each of Celebrity MasterChef, Junior MasterChef, MasterChef Allstars. Matt has released seven best-selling cook books which have been published in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Portugal. His most recent release is More, with a focus on more veg for more joy!

I became a Scarf Ambassador because I love the very direct action; taking people who need skills and giving it to them one-on-one. I love that Scarf doesn’t try and cookie-cutter people, they really celebrate the people as much as the skills


Jan Owen AM Hon DLitt, DUniv

Jan is a social entrepreneur, innovator, influencer and author. And a keen Scarf diner! As CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians for the past 9 years, Jan has led the organisation’s strategic mission to equip young people to create, lead and thrive into the future. Jan’s lifelong work and commitment to unleashing the talent of young people, driving social innovation and entrepreneurship, and transforming education has seen her recognised as one of Australia's ‘True Leaders’ in 2018 and the Inaugural Australian Financial Review and Westpac ‘Woman of Influence’ in 2012. Jan has been awarded honorary Doctorates from the University of Sydney and Murdoch University in Perth and membership to the Order of Australia in 2000 for services to the Australian community. Jan is the author of Every Childhood Lasts a Lifetime (1996) and The Future Chasers (2014).

I've spent my entire life working in the not for profit sector. This idea of actually employing people in real work, in a social enterprise... is probably one of the smartest things I've seen anywhere in Australia


Leanne Clancey

You might have spotted Leanne at the latest opening of the hottest new restaurant in the coolest new part of town. She was probably looking glamourous, chatting to the barman and eating an hors d’oeuvre whilst simultaneously instagramming the whole experience. An accomplished freelance food and travel writer, editor, restaurant critic and event host and based in Melbourne, Leanne has been coming to Scarf Dinners since before they were a thing. A rusted-on foodie, she spent years treading the boards in top restaurants before eventually hanging up her apron in pursuit of a career as a professional food writer. Leanne's work has appeared in Australia’s most respected restaurant guides including The Age Good Food Guide and Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide; on radio with Monocle 24; and in a range of local and international publications including Monocle, National Geographic Traveller (UK), Here Magazine, Good Food, Australian Traveller, SBS FoodBroadsheet and more. Leanne was the food editor and an essayist for the The Monocle Travel Guide – Melbourne; a contributing writer for Phaidon's The Garden Chef; and author of Herb Lester Associates' illustrated pocket travel guide An Appetite For Melbourne – all of which can be found in good bookshops all around the world. As well as frequenting Scarf Dinners and tweeting about them, Leanne participates as a volunteer trainer in our practice interview sessions, because she is ace. She's also an ambassador for the Sacred Heart Mission's annual 'Dine With Heart' campaign. 

Connect with Leanne on Instagram: @TourDeClance or via her website.


Nathan Toleman

Nathan is CEO and founder of The Mulberry Group, an innovative hospitality group known for creating some of the most award-winning cafes in the world's most competitive café market, Melbourne. After graduating from High School, Nathan studied Hospitality Management at William Angliss. Before opening his first café in 2003, Nathan had run hotels and managed restaurants where he developed a vast body of knowledge and expertise in all facets of the hospitality industry. He also spent six years teaching English in Japan, as well as working as an architectural design consultant for as shop fitting company. Now his daily professional life sees his love of design and hospitality combined in a hands-on approach to the set-up of his venues. Nathan has recently sold his three venues (Top Paddock, Higher Ground and The Kettle Black) to focus on new projects including Liminal (161 Collins St), Hazel and Dessous (164 Flinders Lane) and The Beach House in Geelong. His venues have been at the forefront of sustainable food, recycling and composting practices. He has also recently set up a social enterprise, The Common Ground Project, a co working farm and café that aims to connect chefs with farms, allowing them to be involved in growing their own produce, as well as focussing on mental health and wellness in the hospitality industry. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his wife Sarah and their 4 children under 9. Having hosted Scarf Dinners at venues he previously owned, including Three Bags Full, Two Birds One Stone, Top Paddock and Higher Ground Melbourne, Nathan has certainly demonstrated he believes in Scarf's mission and we're very grateful for his continued support as an Ambassador.