Our Team

Experience & Expertise

Founded in 1998 by Peter McCloskey, The Fresh Collective employs a team of passionate experts who stand by the company’s values of excellence, innovation and integrity. With over forty years of experience in the industry Peter McCloskey has guided and built The Fresh Collective into the successful catering and events business that it is today employing a team of dedicated professionals, who are among the best in the industry.

Our Executive Team


Peter McCloskey

Founder and Managing Director

With over forty years experience Peter McCloskey leads the strategic direction for The Fresh Collective. Originally trained as a classical chef, Peter launched the Mode Group Catering in 1989, which was to become one of the most successful caterers in Sydney. Peter founded Fresh in 1999 and has grown it to the successful company that it is today. Peter is known for his drive and passion and has been honoured with industry awards, both for his business ventures and charitable works.


Julie Little

Director of Event Catering at MCA

Julie Little has worked alongside Peter at Fresh, as Director of Event Catering for over seventeen years. Having worked within the events industry for many years Julie brings a wealth of experience to the team and currently looks after events at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. During her time with Fresh, Julie has managed major events including The Autumn and Spring Carnivals at the Australian Turf Club, the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour and the JP Morgan Challenge.


Carl Contractor

Food and Beverage Director

F&B Director Carl Contractor, has more than twenty years’ experience in luxury hotels and resorts including the Marriot, Hyatt, Four Seasons and Starwood. His key senior executive roles have made him a decisive leader with a track record of developing award-winning food and beverage operations, capturing market share and driving profitability. Leading a team of seasoned venue and catering managers Carl oversees new openings and long term strategic goals for The Fresh Collective.

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Jo Bennett

Director of Marketing and Sales

Jo Bennett is a senior marketer with more than twenty years’ strategic marketing, business development and leadership experience across a range of key categories, including retail, hospitality, destination and large-scale events. Jo is responsible for the marketing strategy, brand, digital and event sales at Fresh. Prior to joining Fresh Jo held senior marketing and operational positions at The Cru Media, Matt Moran’s restaurant group Morsul and in the UK with Marks & Spencer, Selfridges, Ian Schrader Hotels and Marco Pierre White.


Keith Higginson

Executive Chef, Retail Venues

Keith trained in Switzerland and London at Michelin starred restaurants including Satoria and Paul Rankin’s Roscoff. In Australia, he worked at Bistro Moncur and Bathers Pavilion, opened the fine dining Italian restaurant Aqua Luna and later, as Head Chef at the Tilbury. Keith has travelled through South America with celebrity chef Maximo Lopez and has worked on cookbooks with Bill Granger and with Gourmet Traveller. Keith is the Executive Chef for all retail outlets within Fresh’s portfolio.


Penelope Hills

Director of Catering and Major Events

Prior to working at Fresh, Pen was employed in senior event management roles at iconic London event venues including The Natural History Museum, The Victoria & Albert Museum and The Tower of London. Pen moved to Sydney and joined Fresh in 2013 and as Director for Catering & Major Events and looks after large scale events including Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour, the Polo In The City Series and Polo By The Sea in the Gold Coast. Pen brings a wealth of experience to The Fresh Collective in managing offsite and large retail events.


Benjamin Hansen

Director of Human Resources

A successful and passionate HR professional, Benjamin looks after the development of the HR strategy for The Fresh Collective, aligned to the business goals and objectives of the company. Benjamin comes with HR experience gained in manufacturing, corporate and hospitality industries, specialising in talent management, policies and procedures, coaching, performance management and recruitment.


Jay Deo

Director of Finance

Jay’s experience comes from roles in the International hotel sector such as Director of Finance role at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney and previously in senior finance roles in Thailand. Jay holds a Bachelor of Arts - Accounting and Economics, as well as a Bachelor of Commerce - Accounting, Law, and Information Systems. Jay is knowledgeable and passionate about the hospitality industry.