I cut my teeth in a local Italian restaurant over 20 years ago. I stayed for 4 years. Once qualified, I jumped for 3 or so years from wood fired pizza restaurants to cafés, as I wanted to get as much experience as possible.
I then spent the next 3 years baking cakes in a great bakery in Glebe. After 3 years, I missed the intensity of restaurant line cooking. So, I found a great job in a restaurant in Darlinghurst where I learnt to create daily menus for both lunch and dinner. This really helped create the Chef I am today.
I then spent 7 years with the Vardis group running some of their venues. After 7 years it was time to move on. I had a connection with Keystone and ran Manly, where I really enjoyed the wedding and function side of the venue. Now I’m with SPHG looking after the Mejico venues, still evolving and honing my Mexican skills.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
When I was 8-years-old my teacher asked me what I wanted to do. I said I wanted to cook like my Dad, she told me that was called a Chef. Decision made!
Growing up, my fondest memories are of cooking with my Father and brothers every Sunday. This is why I still believe that food brings people together. When the world is too busy to stop and talk to each other, food is still the way to get people together to connect.
How would you define your style?
That’s simple, it’s all about fresh local produce, let the produce do the work for you.
What is your feature flavour these days?
Combining traditional Mexican chillies and spices with our great fresh produce to make people really think about what Mexican food is and what it can be.
Obsessive compulsive about?
It’s the simple things. Never be late! Stay clean, don’t bullshit the Chef!
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:
Matt Moran and my first Executive Chef, Keith Higginson.
What do you love about this business?
How it is ever-evolving, you never stop learning and creating, plus the diverse cultures you get to meet working in kitchens.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Pork!! Need I say more?
Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item?
Just started playing with dry aged fish, so watch this space.
Signature dish:Grilled ocean trout, pickled watermelon and blood orange salsa, yuzu and fresh thyme yoghurt.