I started my first job in a kitchen when I was 13 on the West Coast of Scotland; shucking oysters, chasing langoustines around the kitchen and I loved every minute of it! I soon travelled to Ireland to pursue my experience and further my knowledge.
I moved to Australia in 2010 and for the last 9 years have been Head Chef at 2Fish Restaurant in Port Douglas where my team achieved "Best Seafood Restaurant in Australia” 2016 which was an amazing accomplishment.
I have since then decided to go it alone; which has been a dream of mine since day one. We opened the doors at Melaleuca on April 15, 2019.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
Absolutely! Ever since I was a teenager, I knew I belonged in the kitchen. My passion lies in cooking and creating dishes, and I’m never happier than when I’m with my team running a busy dinner service.
Your greatest culinary influence:
I admire Marco Pierre White for his work ethic and passion for cooking. I’ve read all his books and even love to stay up after service to watch his documentaries. My team and I are always looking for inspiration from different sources, whether it’s reading other Chefs’ books or trying different cuisines from different cultures.
My wife Namhee is from Korea so I love experimenting with Korean spices and dishes and always encourage my team to travel and test and try everything. To quote Marco Pierre White "we all wear blue aprons in my kitchen because we’re all commis. We’re all still learning.”
What do you love about this business?
Everything. I’ve always loved the comradery that all Chefs know comes with running a kitchen and the rush of a busy dinner service! Now I’m lucky enough to have started my own restaurant and brand and I want to create a place where our guests can come and relax and we can look after them.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Fresh local produce and ingredients! We’re lucky to live in Far North Queensland where we can source beautiful fresh locally caught Coral Trout which is so amazing to work with. I have a massive background in working with seafood though, so I am just now really passionate and excited about working with other proteins on my menu too!
Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item?
Our delectable signature dessert platter made up of lots of different delicious components! Mouths definitely water when one of those arrive at the table!
We’ve only just opened our venue, Melaleuca, and what I’m loving is showcasing our local produce and showing off the skills of my boys and me in the kitchen.
At the moment we are working on sending out entrée tasting plates that our guests can share with many different elements and things to try so we’d really love to get known for that!