Robbie: Seoul, South Korea
Brandon: Brandon’s diverse culinary career began in Malaysia, where
he apprenticed at Strudel & Pastry in 1998.
The following year he joined the Hilton Hotel
Malaysia, before specialising in Asian cuisine at Little Dim Sum Place.
In 2003 he moved
to Melbourne, training at the William Angliss
School and completing
apprenticeships at Rubicon Restaurant and Punch Lane Wine Bar. Sous chef positions at Punch Lane Wine Bar
and Grapeseed followed, and in 2009 Brandon
was appointed Head Chef at both Servery & Spoon Café and My Sister Says
After a stint as
sous chef at The Local Taphouse, Brandon
is now head chef and pastry chef at Biero Melbourne.
Robbie: Robbie did his apprenticeship at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Seoul, later honing his skills as a commis chef at the
Hilton Hotel, Military Army Service, Seokyo Hotel and Hyatt Hotel in Seoul.
2005 saw him relocate to Melbourne and
the William Angliss Institute
Culinary School. Following that he worked at Lime Café &
Bar in Kensington, Yak Bar & Restaurant, then as sous chef at Servery &
Spoon Café & My Sister Says Café, and now Biero Melbourne.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
Brandon: I guess since I started lighting matchsticks to light the gas stove at
the age of eight. It scared my parents
and grandparents! Also standing on a
steel bucket helping Mum and Grandma cook a feast for a big family…oh, and my
first experience helping Mum slaughter chickens for Chinese New Year’s dinner
when I was eight, and we’re still keeping the tradition! Brings back good and scary memories! I’m a slow eater and always end up doing
dishes; I guess that’s because I love to slowly enjoy Mum’s food!
Robbie: Since I graduated from high
school, I always had a passion for cookery. It was against my mum’s will but I
went ahead with my heart and dreams. Working
with many experienced chefs around Seoul,
it built my confidence in culinary skills and my passion for food. I’ve gained 20kg ever since I joined this
industry, so that’s proof of my passion.
How would you define your style?
Seasonal – what Mother
Nature has to offer, and DEFINITELY Mum’s Asian cooking!
Robbie: Traditional with a little modern twist.
Obsessive compulsive about?
Brandon: Consistency! Consistency! Consistency! Not only at work but also in
life, to achieve the best from yourself.
Robbie: Herbs and spices. Teamwork in the kitchen; no team, no game.
greatest culinary inspirations/influences:
First of all, definitely my family! Also the men behind my success – Martin Webb
and Richard Smith, my mentors. Also not
to forget my fiancée; thank you for your patience and support.
Robbie: My mum and dad! We always travel around the world to hunt for
good quality food.
Brandon: ‘Pork Belly Duo’ (crisp
belly of pork and maltose braised pork belly); and crisp whole WA prawns with egg
floss, chilli and curry leaves.
Robbie: Slow braised pork
neck with fragrant barley risotto and roasted garlic puree; and butterflied beef
short ribs with confit garlic, wild mushrooms and nashi compote.
Strangest thing you've ever eaten?
Brandon: Earthworms in boiled eggs. Gosh! My mum made me eat it when I had tummy ache when I was a kid.
Robbie: Dog meat soup in Korea; I didn’t know what it was ‘til I'd finished it. My dad tricked me into it. Never touching it ever again!