Our Team

Justin James
Executive Chef

Justin James knew he wanted to be a chef since he was 10 years old. Raised outside the hills of Detroit, Michigan USA, his first job ever was a busboy at the age of 16. Within two weeks, Justin was transferred into the kitchen. The noise, atmosphere and culture in the kitchen caught him and he has never looked back.
Early on in his career, Justin was trained by two Maîtres Cuisiniers de France before travelling throughout the States to explore different styles of food and culture at some of America’s best restaurants. He ended up at Eleven Madison Park where he stayed for 3 years.
Justin decided to travel to the other end of the world and ended up calling Australia home. He made his debut at Vue de monde in 2014, and quickly rose from Commis to Sous Chef and then Head Chef.
In his continual search for different cuisine, Justin moved to Denmark in 2017 to start a new chapter and worked at internationally acclaimed restaurant, Noma. After a short stint in Denmark, Justin realised that Australia was where he wanted to be.
Upon Justin’s return to Melbourne, he was appointed Executive Chef of Vue de monde and Vue Group. At Vue de monde, Justin focuses on pushing the boundaries of Australian cuisine and he places great importance on the guest experience.

What’s key for Justin is to tell the narrative of the cuisine but not overtly in order to keep some mystery. It’s a fine line but when done right, it is a beautiful experience. Seasonality, locality, native Australian produce, phenomenal products and culture drive Justin. Australia provides him with great inspiration and allows him to create and share the essence of Vue de monde.

Hugo Simoes Santos
Restaurant Manager

Raised in a a very small town in Portugal, I started working in restaurants from a very young age. The summer job quickly turned into a passion and after a few years studying hospitality everything became more serious.

One of my biggest passions in life is that of great cuisine, the enjoyment I get from hosting and entertaining others experiencing the same is the biggest satisfaction of all.
Passion, knowledge, discipline and personality, in my opinion, are the main principals needed to master the art of waiting. Individually the traits are not enough, as a knowledgeable waiter without any personality or a well-disciplined waiter who lacks passion can never deliver a perfect service.
Hitting my straps in London, the discipline imposed to work in a 3 Michelin Star restaurant like at Gordon Ramsay were extremely high and the knowledge required at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal was something impressive. Moving to Australia was something that I always wanted to do, and what a better place to be than working for one of the most iconic restaurants in the country.

Carlos Simoes Santos
Head Sommelier

Carlos Simões imparts his wine knowledge with passion and erudition. His fascination and influence began with his family vineyard in Portugal which developed into a life long journey exploring the world of hospitality.

Completing his hospitality studies Carlos relocated to London to work at the 3 Michelin starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, which lead to a career defining opportunity opening Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

Carlos has immersed himself in the Old and New World of wine, has achieved the formal title of Advanced Master Sommelier, and brings to Vue de monde a wealth of knowledge, an unwavering eye for detail and an enviable palate.