Anna Polyviou started her culinary career in 2000 when she accepted an apprenticeship with The Sofitel Hotel, Melbourne. During this time Anna won the “Best Apprentice in Victoria” competition run by Les Toques Blanc. The prize was a scholarship to work anywhere in the world to further her cooking career.
Anna embraced this opportunity to follow her dreams, and took off to work in London for three years at Claridge’s Hotel; at the time it was regularly awarded the best hotel in England. During her stay in London, Anna had the opportunity to work under two extraordinary pastry chefs, Miss Julie Sharp, (UK’s best Pastry Chef, 2004) and Nick Paterson who was awarded the same prize 2 years later.
Anna continued to enter competitions, many of which she won. Most prestigiously, she took the top honours with the Nadell Trophy (Dessert of the Year) and also the Culinary Academy Award of Excellence for pastry. This award is only given to a limited number of young pastry chefs. The Culinary Academy Award of Excellence award allowed Anna to travel to Paris to do a stint with renowned Pastry Chef Pierre Herme at Pierre Herme Patisserie at Rue Bonaparte, Paris.
This dedicated and driven Pastry Chef walked into the Shangri-La hotel in Sydney in 2013 and transformed the pastry team. Since then, Anna has become the Creative Director of pastry and has been the driving force behind the revolution of patisseries in hotels around Australia. Anna’s sell-out Dessert Degustation put the Shangri-La on the culinary map in Australia and her work has been recognised with serveral culinary awards, including 2018 Hotel Chef of the Year (HM Awards) and 2016 Pastry Chef of the Year (Gault & Millau).
In 2014, Anna hosted one of Australia’s first dessert festivals ‘Sweet Street’, at which 600 fans downed more than 5000 desserts created by Anna and her pastry friends (including Kristen Tibballs, N2, Adriano Zumbo, Lux Bite and Tim Clark). Since then, the festival has grown to reach a huge audience and tickets sell our in days.
One of Anna’s trademark dishes, the extraordinarily modernist take on the traditional Carrot Cake, won 2014 Best Dessert in Australia (Foodservice). Anna was featured on Masterchef Australia with the same dessert and returned in 2015 and 2016 as a Guest Challenge Presenter with her Anna’s Mess and Firecracker desserts.
Anna’s crazy dessert challenges caught the eye of the Producers of Family Food Fight Australia, and in 2017 she was cast as co=host on the Channel Nine prime time food reality series alongside Matt Moran and Tom Parker Bowles. Now is its second season, Anna is setting the Family Food Fight elimination challenges with her dessert recipes.
Anna launched her first cookbook Sweet Street in May 2018, and it sold out within weeks.
She continues to work with Kenwood as their ambassador, has collaborated with Mattel on a Barbie “Junior Executive Chef” Campaign, presented a series of recipes for Expressi by Aldi Supermarkets, and featured in a social media campaign for Singapore Tourism.
Anna continues to be in great demand and life doesn’t seem to be slowing down for the Punk Princess of Pastry.