English-born David Rayner completed his chef apprenticeship at the Savoy Hotel in London. He worked at several of London’s most well known restaurants including Kensington Place and Launceston Place. Upon arriving in Sydney in 1996 David was recruited by Greg Doyle (then owner/chef The Pier restaurant, Rosebay) to helped establish and transform some of Sydney’s newest and best restaurants. It was during this time David was first awarded a chefs hat in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.
In 2000 David relocated to Noosa to be the Head chef of a new restaurant, Berardo’s restaurant and bar. David remained at the helm for just over four years. During this time Bernardo’s was awarded Queensland’s best regional restaurant by the Australian Gourmet Traveller.
In 2004 David opened his own restaurant in Noosaville, River House Restaurant. River House quickly established itself as one of Australia’s finest restaurants and was awarded two stars by the Queensland Good Food Guide. David’s chocolate, hazelnut and caramel tart was featured on the front cover of the prestigious Australian Gourmet Traveler magazine, October 2004.
In 2009 he sold River House to take a sabbatical for 12 months where he travelled to international food destinations to seek inspiration and work on a new concept.
After considerable research and finding a new building development with views of the Noosa River David commenced working with endless trades people, designers, builders and Council. He wanted to ensure his latest venture took into account his research and reflected what locals and tourists really want when dining on the Sunshine Coast. This resulted in the opening of Thomas Corner.
David has an ability to turn out beautifully balanced dishes, allowing the natural flavours of the produce to shine. His style is refreshingly light and simple yet innovative. Quality local & regional produce has always been the key component in David’s cooking. In 2008 David won the national award for “outstanding use of regional produce by a chef” from Vogue, entertaining and travel. David has remained actively involved in the program and is a QLD judges for the same award program known as the delicious produce awards.
Since arriving in Noosa David has focussed on building strong relationships with local growers and producers and continues to support them with every menu he creates. Finger limes, Cedar Street haloumi, Prossers citrus, Hervey Bay scallops, Jason’s smoked fish, Mooloolaba prawns are just some of the local products on his current menu. It would be remiss not to mention his passion for growing his own speciality produce and herbs that feature on the menu. David grows his own betal leaves and numerous herbs which are picked in the morning and are used only hours later at Thomas Corner.
David is passionate about the Australian hospitality industry and enjoys being a part of the professionals who help create a nurturing environment for future young Australian chefs and waiters. David is a State judge for the Electrolux Young Chef of the Year Awards and has been since its inception in 2006.
Thomas Corner provides an excellent training ground for apprentice chefs and David takes pride in helping them complete their training and go onto fulfill their ambition.