Sunshine Coast, QLD.
My kitchen journey began on the Sunshine Coast, working mostly at 5-star hotels. I moved to London to gain more experience and further my career. After a couple of years working and travelling through Europe, I returned to Hastings Street and worked at Noosa Beach House by Peter Kuruvita for 5 years before joining Spirit House.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
Yes, I love every part of working in kitchens. I first stepping into one during high school and haven’t wanted to be anywhere else since.
How would you define your style?
Fresh and not over complicated.
What is your feature flavour these days?
Lots of fresh herbs, spices and big flavours.
Obsessive compulsive about?
Consistency and presentation on every dish.
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:
I would have to say Peter Kuruvita, in my time working with him I grew so much as a Chef. Also, David Thompson for all he has done with Thai cuisine.
What do you love about this business?
I love everything about this industry! From the early mornings pushing to get the mise en place ready for service, to the constant creating and perfecting of new dishes. Coaching and guiding young Chefs is also highly rewarding.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Specialising in South East Asian cuisine, I would have to say fresh herbs and chilli. There is a place for them on every dish.
Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item?
A recently featured addition to The Spirit House is our menu of Curiosities. It is giving us the chance to try some really out there dishes that you would not normally see on a menu. Creations that real foodies and people in the industry can appreciate, such as khao kluuk gapi or Lamb brain massaman.
The Spirit House has three signature dishes from past Chefs over the last 23 years. My personal signature dish on the current menu is Mooloolaba Leader Prawns in Szechuan ginger butter, chilli and lemongrass.
Lush palm fronds and tinkling wind chimes take you from the Hinterland haven of Yandina into the wondrous world of The Spirit House Restaurant. New dishes from Head Chef Aaron Tucker await guests at this Chef Hat-awarded venue, where a memorable dining experience of modern Southeast Asian flavours is guaranteed. The makeover bug has hit with exciting renovations to the gardens and fantastic recipes on the main menu such as Mooloolaba Leader prawns, with tom yum spices, prawn butter and fresh coconut; or duck in red curry sauce, charred baby corn, lychee and wild ginger. Unwind in the Hong Sa bar with a house blend bourbon cocktail in hand and share light banquets of coconut and salmon soup, pork belly, whole crispy fish, braised beef green curry, jasmine rice and a side of roti.