I started my culinary career at Aspendale/Edithvale RSL as a kitchen hand, I spent a couple of years washing plates and scrubbing pots here before I started my apprenticeship. I moved around to a few places during my apprenticeship, from fine dining at Rydges to Italian food in Malvern.
After qualifying, I ended up running that same kitchen that I was a kitchen hand at, it was my first experience at running a kitchen and I did a great job. After that venue I was a Sous Chef at a couple of different pubs until I landed the role of Head Chef at the Frankston RSL, which is one of the biggest RSL’s in Victoria. It was a really busy place doing up to 5000 meals a week and overseeing a large brigade of Chefs.
After Frankston RSL, I took a step back from running kitchens and just worked as a casual Chef in a few different venues.
This year (2019) I started at The Bay in Mordialloc. Since then, we have had new owners take over and completely renovate the venue. We reopened in August and we are building traction to be the best pub in the area.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
I have always loved food, but it wasn’t until I was a kitchen hand in a commercial kitchen that I wanted to pursue cooking as a Career.
How would you define your style?
Pub Food done with finesse. Retro with modern twists.
What is your feature flavour these days?
Turning tough cuts of meat into tender delicious dishes.
I am obsessed with consistency in quality and presentation of food, I’m also obsessed with cleanliness. If I see a messy plate my Chefs hear me say "I’ve seen cleaner plates on stolen cars.”
Your greatest culinary influence:
My greatest culinary influence would have to be my Nan, growing up she was always getting me to taste new things, her meals were always amazing.
What do you love about this business?
I love making people happy, food can be such a passionate heartwarming thing, to see happy customers in a full restaurant after a huge service makes my day. Also, the comradery of a kitchen crew, you spend a lot of time with work colleagues and they pretty much become your second family.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Butter, everything tastes better with butter.
Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item?
Our vegan pulled pork burger raises a lot of eyebrows.
12-hour slow-cooked Gippsland beef cheek in a Pinot sauce, resting on a bed of garlic mashed potato, topped with horseradish gremolata.