Ben Maher

Ben Maher

Born: 

Belmont, NSW. 

History: 

I started my apprenticeship when I was 15 in Gladstone QLD, before moving to Brisbane where I completed my apprenticeship at Tukka Restaurant in West End. This is where I learned all about native Australian produce. I worked with some great Chefs there who helped shape me into the Chef I am today. After Tukka, I worked in various pubs, resorts, hotels, and small restaurants to gain as much experience as I could. I moved to the Sunshine Coast 12 years ago and worked as the Sous Chef at the Terrace Restaurant in Maleny for a year. I then moved on to help open the RACV Resort in Noosa where I stayed for the next nine years working under Lee Jeynes as a Chef de Partie and then Sous Chef.  

Have you always wanted to be a Chef? 

I always wanted to be a professional golfer growing up and started my apprenticeship as a Chef almost as a fallback, as the years went on though my attention shifted away from golf and onto cooking. 

How would you define your style? 

I think in years gone by, I was very much an adventurous cook, nothing was impossible, and I wanted to try everything. Now I am certainly more refined, I like the classics and enjoy showcasing quality ingredients over the quantity of ingredients. 

What is your feature flavour these days? 

I have definitely fallen back in love with native Australian ingredients such as alpine pepper, eucalyptus and wattleseed. These are a few I am trying to feature at the moment. 

Obsessive-compulsive about? 

There are so many things. Kitchen cleanliness is the biggest one for me but anyone who has worked with me will say that I am pretty OCD about everything in the kitchen. I like everything a certain way.

Your greatest culinary influence:  

I am influenced by David Chang and what he is doing, as well as Aaron Franklin and Richard Blais. I think they all embody what hospitality should be and I can really appreciate their dedication to their craft. 

What do you love about this business? 

I love that I am constantly learning in this industry. I think that is what drew me to the job in the first place. 

An ingredient you can’t live without? 

Butter. 

Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item? 

I made a banana cake with Thai red curry and white chocolate frosting with coconut gelato. I am not going to say it sold really well but it certainly got people talking. 

Signature dish: 

I would say our share plate. It is a South American spiced lamb shoulder, corn with citrus goats’ cheese butter and garlic and parsley roasted baby potatoes. This would be my favourite dish at the moment.



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