Kay-Lene Tan

Kay-Lene Tan

Kay-Lene Tan is the Head Chef at Tonka, a modern Indian restaurant (and sister restaurant to Coda) in Melbourne. Before being appointed Head Chef in 2020, Kay-Lene was Executive Pastry Chef at Tonka and Coda – helping to affirm both venues as bucket-list restaurants in the city.


Having trained under the infamous Joel Robuchon, once named “Chef of the Century” by French restaurant guide Gault Millau, and Andres Lara at Pollen (Singapore), Kay-Lene’s desserts have gained a cult following.


Her innovative recipes saw her awarded the 2018 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s Hospitality Scholarship and the opportunity to travel and learn from some of the world’s best, including Dominique Creen at Artelier Crenn (San Francisco) and Ana Ros at Hisa Franko (Slovenia), both regulars in the World’s Best 50 Restaurant list.


Portrait Photo credit: Pete Dillon for Broadsheet

The Poster

Served at Tonka, Kay-Lene’s recipe for carrot cake is an ode to her mother, who is a “carrot cake connoisseur”. A playful depiction of a westernised carrot cake and traditional carrot halwa, Kay-Lene’s recipe delivers an artful take on a classic dessert.

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