Alan Benson

Internationally-acclaimed, Sydney-based food photographer Alan Benson, began his career as a chef in earnest, after winning a British competition that led him to work at the Savoy Hotel in London. After twelve years in the kitchen in the UK and Australia, Alan decided to take a different perspective to his food – from behind the lens. Today he enjoys an international reputation and operates out of his own photographic studio in Rosebery, Sydney. Over the past two decades Alan has been creating a stunning body of work.

Alan has spent his career travelling and photographing food and cultures across the globe in some twenty different countries in Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. Alan’s work has appeared in a myriad of national and international magazines, books and online programs, including those detailing the personal stories, philosophies and recipes of internationally-renowned chefs and their restaurants. He has worked with a range of social enterprises and enjoys making a positive contribution in his community.

Alan enjoys sharing his passions for travel, photography and food with others. He has mentored, taught and inspired many budding photographers and chefs, including through a number of TAFE and community college courses.

Alan was nominated for the prestigious Northern American James Beard Award in the Photography Category in 2012, the highest honour for food professionals working in North America.

To experience some of Alan’s photography, please visit his website at:

Tea in the First Sense

Dilmah tea, the symbol of Pure Ceylon Tea in over 100 countries around the world, unveils Tea in the First Sense, an innovative endeavour by the family tea company Dilmah, in their mission to bring the beauty of tea, nature’s finest beverage, to the world.

Tea in the First Sense is an art and photography exhibition featuring tea plantations in Sri Lanka. The exhibition, commissioned by Dilmah, will tour the world as part of a Dilmah mission to share with a global audience the aesthetic beauty of tea.

This project has a deeper significance for it is part of a Dilmah effort to highlight the inequity in the tea category. A brand known for its integrity, Dilmah sought to overturn a system in which the producer became an exploited raw material supplier. In 1988 Founder of Dilmah Merrill J Fernando launched his Dilmah brand, in Australia, subsequently reaching over 100 countries in the world. Dilmah is today recognised as a role model in ethical trade.

The Company strives to bring quality back to tea and in so doing to improve the fortunes of Ceylon’s historic tea industry and its workers. Engaged in extensive social welfare via the MJF Charitable Foundation ( Dilmah is convinced that by making consumers appreciate Ceylon and her teas, demand for quality Ceylon Tea can be increased, helping tea producers get a better price for their crop. Ultimately that is fairer than any notion of fair-trade and is the most tangible way of bringing a smile to the faces of workers in the industry and their families. Dilmah is also working towards a more sustainable use of the environment through Dilmah Conservation which is promoting biodiversity, species/habitat protection & awareness of sustainability by encouraging a harmonious co-existence of man and nature (

Tea in the First Sense is part of a project to highlight the heritage of Ceylon Tea and educate consumers on the health and other benefits in quality Ceylon Tea. The first stage of this project was the History of Ceylon Tea website which preserves in one of the world’s largest internet tea websites, a century of literature on Ceylon Tea. Tea in the First Sense captures through both brush and lens, the endearing character and charm of the Sri Lankan Tea plantations.