Born: Malvern, Melbourne
History: I started in the industry as a kitchen hand/breakfast chef at Santucci's, then moved to working nights and eventually took over as the Head Chef. My journey then took me to a place called Mace & Grace where I worked a combination of breakfast, lunch and dinners. Seeking more of a challenge and wanting to spreading my wings, I started working at Arabesque in November 2005, where I started from the bottom and worked myself up the chain to become the now Head Chef of Arabesque Dining & Bar.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
After never achieving much with written work in high school, I found myself enjoying home economics and went on to do an Hospitality VCE VET course. Completing my Hospitality VET course I then enrolled into a commercial cooking course at Swinbourne TAFE.
How would you define your style?
A combination of Middle Eastern, Turkish & Mediterranean.
What is your feature flavour these days?
I like to experiment with different spices and fresh herbs to make an array of different sauces, pastes and flavour combinations.
Obsessive compulsive about?
Treating staff & team members with respect. I look at my team as a family and with that I like to create an enjoyable work place.
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences?
Greg Malouf, Neil Perry, Margaret Fulton, my Mother, David Thompson, Donna Hay, Tim Paine and the 'Waffa's' - 3 Egyptian lady's who taught me alot about Middle Eastern cooking.
What do you love about this business?
Arabesque is a fun, fast paced restaurant with a real family feel. I really enjoy working with my team.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Fresh herbs and love!
Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item?
Our ever changing "fish of the day"
Signature dish: There are a few, but I enjoy the Makloubeh Chicken and also the Moroccan Goat Claypot.