I grew up in Airlie Beach, and the natural progression after high school was to be in hospitality. I completed my apprenticeship in the Whitsunday Islands, before moving to the Sheraton Mirage in Port Douglas. I’ve moved around quite a bit since then, travelling to the ski fields of Jindabyne to work at Lake Crackenback before moving back North to the Sunshine Coast to work at Rydges, along with Tides Waterfront Dining. I also spent some time in the Hunter Valley at Sebel (Kirkton Park Hotel), along with Brisbane’s Pullman in King George Square.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
Yes, when I finished high school I had the grades to go to university, but I was never destined to sit behind a desk. I have too much nervous energy and need to be on my feet.
How would you define your style?
Creative, but simplistic. I like to use fresh and local ingredients, but not over complicate the flavours. I think a good dish should never have more than five elements on the plate.
What is your feature flavour these days?
Lavender oil. I use it, along with kaffir lime leaves to flavour our crème brulee. The oil is pure and strong, and you need to be gentle with it to keep the dish subtle.
Obsessive compulsive about?
Cleanliness, training and time management. Without either, you can never have a functional operation.
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:
Tetsuya Wakuda. I love the fact he came to this country with very little, but through hard work and dedication he has built a culinary empire.
What do you love about this business?
Training and passing my knowledge on to apprentices and Junior Chefs. I always live by the motto "someone gave me a chance once,” so it is imperative to train and nurture the younger generation of Chefs to ensure that the trade continues to flourish.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
A good sense of humour.
Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item?
I once thought it would be a great idea to do a beetroot risotto with a bitter chocolate sauce … I was very wrong.
Share plate for two: 800 g Wagyu rump cap with duck fat potato, charred broccolini, Dutch carrots, chermoula Mooloolaba prawns and shiraz jus.