I have over 31 years of experience in the food and restaurant industry. I have a passion for food and a reputation for creating memorable dining experiences at several highly regarded national and international establishments. I’m dedicated to using seasonal, local produce across all my menus, ensuring the highest quality and freshness from the kitchen to the table.
I began my culinary career at Matilda Bay Restaurant, a highly regarded establishment located on the waterfront in Nedlands WA. After completing my apprenticeship, I then progressed through my career while working under a number of incredible Perth chefs and restaurant operators; Phil Sexton, Ivan Mather, Kevin McCabe (Oriel, Subiaco), Kim Gamble (Launch of The Blue Duck, Cottesloe) and Russell Blaikie to name a few.
In 1996, I was a consultant and Executive Chef at a well-known venue on the river in Fremantle, I worked to completely transform this venue from three casual cooks offering a café style menu to two kitchens that produced everything on-site and offered a well-thought-out dining experience.
I then went on to work as the Head Chef at The Belgian Beer Café, where I was involved in the design and fit-out of a new kitchen, plus all facets of the re-brand and menu curation.
In 2008, I had an amazing opportunity to move to and work in Cairo, Egypt. I was the project manager and consultant for The Egyptian Australia Restaurant Company on one of Egypt’s premier multi dining venues; The Terrace Restaurant, Bar & Café. I spent one and a half years in Cairo, which saw me involved in everything from the design and build, to branding, creative direction and food menu development.
Upon moving back to Perth, I became the Executive Chef at the Cottesloe Beach Hotel in 2012, where I spearheaded the revitalisation of this iconic Western Australian venue, beginning with launch of the new Beach Club and a number of contemporary dining concepts across the entire site including Cott & Co., Verandah Bar dining and an extensive functions area. I ran four kitchens in the business, all of which offered vastly different menu styles.
In 2015 I was involved in the planning and development of Odyssea City Beach, an exceptional Western Australian venue with a capacity of 350 seats. Launching in 2016, the Odyssea kitchen still remains true to our ethos and our dedication to Modern Australian cuisine; focusing on atheistically pleasing, sophisticated beach fare with a light, fresh and healthy approach with a strong commitment to local producers and seasonal ingredients prepared in house.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
I had wanted to be a Chef from a very young age. I come from a large Italian family, so as you can imagine, we’ve always had delicious homecooked family feasts. I also love our family traditions that bring us together to make things like sauces and sausages, some of my best food memories as a child.
How would you define your style?
Modern Australian – fresh and seasonal.
What is your feature flavour these days?
I like to use miso, soy, fish sauce and other products to season and flavour food.
Organisation. I’m very particular about how we receive, store and prepare produce. I’m also compulsive about food tasting – my staff need to taste everything, so they can understand how the flavour combinations work together and make sure all the seasonings are perfect. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to dish execution and plating up, it’s true that we eat with our eyes first! I want that first mouthful to be amazing every time.
Your greatest culinary influence:
My earliest culinary influence was definitely my family, throughout my career I’ve always admired other chefs who I have worked under and in terms of well-known influences I’ve admired; Rick Stein, Marco Pierre White, Antonio Carluccio and more recently I’ve found inspiration in Yotam Ottolenghi.
What do you love about this business?
I love being a part of growing, successful businesses. It’s great to watch all the chefs who have come through my kitchens grow their skills and creativity. You also just can’t beat the adrenaline of a big service, watching everyone in the kitchen put their skills into action is an incredible feeling.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
After living in Cairo, I found it extremely difficult to live without pork! I also can’t live without ripe and juicy tomatoes or fresh, locally sourced seafood. In Australia, we are so blessed with the abundance of fresh and quality produce.
Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item?
Unfortunately, I am used to working in high volume, multi-outlet venues, where menu items need to hit broad markets. If anything, I used to do a BBQ Shark Bay Tiger prawn with Manjimup truffle oil flamed in Grappa at the table.
I don’t have a signature dish as such, I’m always evolving the menu and pushing my creativity in the kitchen. I would say that Odyssea’s signature dish would have to be the Tasmanian Salmon that has a puffed wild rice and nori crust and is served with sweet wasabi, soy and ginger. We’ve had this dish on our menu for a very long time now and it’s a crowd-pleaser.