Board Members

Conleth Roche – Shared Tables President

Conleth Roche is currently Shared Tables President and brings over 30 years of International Hotel and Restaurant Management experience to the group. He is currently General Manager of RACV Cape Schanck Resort. He is a Board Director on the Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism Board and a recently retired Board Director of Business Events Victoria.

Con has held Senior Management positions at Peppers Retreats & Resorts, Hilton Hotels in USA and Europe and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in USA. He has a passion for Food and Wine and has been involved with Shared Tables for 10 years.

Jason Peynenborg – Shared Tables Vice President

Jason Peynenborg has had a career-long association with Victoria Golf Club completing his apprenticeship at the Club in 1991. He was subsequently appointed as 2nd Chef at and then decided to further his career travelling west to the Cable Beach Club in Broome. He returned back to Melbourne, and was appointed Head Chef at Victoria Golf Club in 1998.

Jason’s career highlight was when Stuart Appleby, in his acceptance speech following the 2010 JBWere Masters, stated that it ‘was the best food he’s had on the PGA Tour’ in his 20 years.

Jason has taken over running his own business - Cafe Largo in Brighton.

Joy DurstonShared Tables Secretary and Treasurer

Joy has years of experience as a project manager, events organiser, desktop publisher and an administrator of professional associations, voluntary organisations and community groups. She has been executive officer of the Industrial Design Council, Society of Senior Executives, Institute of Hospitality Management and Daylesford-Macedon Produce, and provided secretarial services to the Institute of Exports and Australian Dental Council. Joy has played honorary executive roles in such organisations as the Federation of Film Societies, Wine Press Club of Victoria, Friends of St Kilda Botanical Gardens and the Glenlyon Progress Association.

Olimpia Bortolotto - Shared Tables Committee Member

Olimpia has dedicated nearly 50 years of her work to the hospitality industry and she has created and operated several successful restaurants including: Bortolotto's and Cafe Menis (St Kilda), Cecconi's (Crown Melbourne) and Cecconi's Flinders Lane.

Olimpia has launched her first cookbook, La Tavola Della Famiglia. A memoir of recipes and photographs of her culinary and life journey filled with passion and love from Olimpia and her family’s Italian heritage.

Claude Forell - Shared Tables Committee Member

CLAUDE FORELL, BA, Dip. Journ. (Melb.). A professional journalist for more than 50 years, Claude is best known in the hospitality industry as a veteran restaurant reviewer and original editor of The Age Epicure section and The Age Good Food Guide, of which he has been associated with almost every edition from 1980 as editor, co-editor or contributor. He has also been chief editorial writer, public affairs columnist, federal and state political reporter, and London correspondent for The Age, and author of How We Are Governed. Claude is former president of the Melbourne Press Club and a winner of its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Greg O'Shea - Shared Tables Committee Member

Greg O’Shea has been part of the Hospitality industry for more than 25 years gaining extensive experience as a chef both in Australia and abroad. A highlight of Greg’s culinary journey was working at the 3 Michelin star restaurant - Chez Nico At Ninety Park Lane in England. Greg worked in many other high end Melbourne establishments including Lynches Restaurant and the Grand Hyatt before following his passion into training.

Greg is currently the Head of Department for Holmesglen Hospitality, Cookery and Bakery Department and also the Program Manager for Le Cordon Bleu Melbourne.

Greg has a passion for the hospitality industry and is committed to the training of our future industry professionals.

Stephen Mercer - Shared Tables Committee Member

Stephen Mercer has run Mercer's Restaurant in Eltham with his wife, Ute for 20 years.

Eleven times awarded a Chef's Hat in the Age Good Food guide and recipients of two Gault and Millau Chef's Hats in the past three editions, Mercer's is the outstanding fine dining restaurant in Melbourne's north eastern suburbs.

In 2016 Mercer's was awarded best Contemporary Restaurant in Metropolitan Melbourne at the Savour Restaurant Awards.

Stephen's cooking career started at the Regent Hotel Melbourne as an apprentice chef in 1985. He won the Victorian apprentice of the year in 1988. He then travelled to Europe working in Germany and London and returning to Australia he worked as Sous chef at Jacques Reymond's Restaurant, and from 1994, worked as Executive Chef for three years at Adams of North Riding Restaurant in St Andrews.

Stephen has been a regular of Shared Tables since its inception and has supported the Shared Tables Career Development Award with 2 apprentices winning the coveted award to spend a month working with Thierry Marx in Paris, France.


Gerard Doherty - Shared Tables Chief Executive Officer

Gerard Doherty has over 30 years experience in the Hospitality Industry. He has specialised in marketing, public relations and event management.

Gerard formed Shared Tables in 1994 in Melbourne (Victoria) as a forum for chefs to exchange information and ideas in a relaxed, friendly environment. The group has grown from humble beginnings, with 30 participants attending the inaugural function at Scalachi at the Willows, hosted by celebrated restaurateur Olimpia Bortolotto. Since then, the group has expanded to more than 550 members and now includes all sectors of the hospitality industry.