Our Team

Chef_ColinOwner – Colin Selwood

Having grown up amongst farmland on the south island of New Zealand Colin is a country boy at heart, despite living in the centre of Sydney for many years.

Formally trained in Christchurch in the early 80’s Colin headed to Sydney to expand his culinary experience and over the years owned, in partnership, several restaurants including establishing what has now become a Sydney favourite China Doll at Woolloomooloo Wharf.

He gained his experience working at some of Sydney’s best-known establishments including Bistro Moncur, Eastbank, Bayswater Brasserie and Armstrong’s. It was while working at Armstrong’s in North Sydney Colin got his first taste of dry aged beef that forms the base of his menu at The Cottage.

Colin and his family had moved from Sydney to Willow Tree in 2010 where he quickly established a multi award-winning dining experience Graze, at The Willow Tree Inn before moving to Melbourne in late 2013. Colin was keen to get back to the country and needed little persuasion to return to the district and start something of his own.


Head Chef – Ben Haywood

English born chef Benjamin Haywood has always been surrounded by good food and wine, growing up with a father who was Director of a Fine Wine Company in London.

Ben began his cooking career at the young age of sixteen training in high-end Michelin starred restaurants throughout the United Kingdom, learning the trade and flourishing under the likes of Nico Ladenis, Raymond Blanc and Heston Blumenthal.

Heading to Australia in 2002 Ben continued with experienced chefs in well-known restaurants with including Catalina, Bilsons and Salon Blanc before taking on the role as Senior Sous Chef at China Doll. After six years in this position Ben and his team opened the CDB restaurant China Lane in 2015.

An illness in the family saw Ben head back to the UK for a couple of years, returning to Australia in 2018 extending his culinary skills at Mercado, Bacco Osteria and Chu Restaurant.

Ben and owner of The Cottage, Colin Selwood have known each other since Ben arrived in Australia back in 2002, working together at Circular Quay and on the wharf at Wooloomooloo at both Salon Blanc and China Doll where Colin was part owner.

A nose to tail chef Ben enjoys utilising the entire animal eliminating waste and producing maximum flavour.

A keen lover of the outdoors including rock climbing, hunting, cricket or horses Ben has moved to Scone with his wife and daughter.