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Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
There is a creativity and diligence required to be a Chef that has always appealed to me from the very start of my career. There have been times that I have thought channelling my creativity and passion into something else might be an option, but the thought has always been fleeting.
How would you define your style?
Fresh, seasonal and taste driven. As a huge advocate of local growers and producers, these relationships and understanding of seasonal local produce drives every aspect of my style.
What is your feature flavour these days?
The menu at Birch changes every season so it's hard to narrow it down to just one, but you can definitely experience a ‘vibe’ on each season’s menu.
I have a not-so-secret ambition to be a mechanical engineer so engineering a new gadget to enhance a dish or at least streamline a process is a fun aspect of what I can do. And yes, I can get a little obsessive about making sure it works just right.
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:
There have been numerous influences throughout my career from the usual old-school icons, but in all honesty, I have been able to work alongside many exceptionally talented people that have and continue to influence me in many different ways.
What do you love about this business?
The people. Being able to work with like-minded and passionate people that are all driven to provide a guest with a certain experience, that you then can see that guest enjoy, provides a sense of camaraderie and fulfilment.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Salt. And a sharp knife, I know that’s not an ingredient but pretty much something I can’t work without.
Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item?
The Archie Rose coast gin cured salmon, dill, yuzu labneh, nori and radish salsa is a bit sneaky at the moment, appears quite unassuming but guests are bamboozled by its impact – as for the dish that generates guests’ ‘ooohhs’ and arrhhhs’ it would have to be the beetroot carpaccio with goats’ curd, caviar, pickled gel, crisps and meringue.
Again, it’s the Archie Rose coast gin cured salmon, dill, yuzu labneh, nori and radish salsa from the past Summer menu.
For an experience that leaves a lasting impression, discerning Moss Vale foodies dine at Birch on Argyle Street. From the red pillar telephone box outside to an elegant interior ambience of dark olive green and charcoal walls, white trim and napery on intimate table settings, Birch projects an unpretentious yet expectant vibe of fine food and wine. From a menu that is produce and technique driven, expect innovative Mod Oz cuisine such as slow-braised lamb ragu with sorrel rag pasta and legumes; enjoyed with a glass of 2017 Nugan ‘Alfredo’ Sangiovese from the King Valley. Seafood lovers can delve into the likes of spice-crusted yellowfin tuna with black barley, citrus and heirloom tomato salsa or perhaps the baby octopus carpaccio with potato foam, olives, chilli and tomatoes will entice.