The United Kingdom.
I started working in kitchens while I was still in school. At age 18, I started working at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s. I then worked alongside Chefs such as Arnaud Lallement and James Sommerin, before setting off on travelling.
I arrived in Australia and began working at Qualia resort on Hamilton Island, Queensland, where I worked for 5 years. It’s where I really grew as a Chef and a leader before I ventured to Sydney to take on my first Head Chef role.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
I guess my first thoughts on becoming a Chef were when I was cooking with my Father at a young age. He was obsessed with shows such as Ready Steak Cook and MasterChef, he still is!
How would you define your style?
My style is a very relaxed approach to food. As generic as it sounds, it really does start with great produce and treating it with respect.
What is your feature flavour these days?
We try to make the main ingredient of the dish the champion but with the influence of Asian flavours to complement them.
I wouldn’t say obsessive-compulsive, but I definitely hold the cleanliness of our kitchen and restaurant in high regard. My Chef used to tell me clean kitchen, clean food and that has always stuck.
Your greatest culinary influence:
It’s a tossup between two people really. Alistair Waddell was the first Chef I really grew a connection with, l wanted to be like him, and it pushed me to new levels as a Chef. I also admire Doug Innes-Will, as he opened me up to a completely new profile of flavours. They are both still very influential to me now.
What do you love about this business?
Seeing guests enjoy what you produce is what it’s all about. I love that we have an open kitchen at No. 5, so I have a direct view of what is going on and seeing it all firsthand throughout service.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
I would have to say soy. There is no way I would go without it.
Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item?
It’s so simple, but our silken tofu would probably be the one that gets people the most. We have it on our share menu and we’ve converted dozens of the "I don’t like tofu” people.
This one would have to be the beef tartare, served with umami dressing, enoki and sesame crackers. We change menus a lot, but this guy is just too good to move off the menu. We might have to give him a break sometime though!
Unpretentious, fun and welcoming surrounds await at No.5 Restaurant and Bar on McCauley Street in Alexandria. Redefining the idea of your new local, No.5 offers simple, uncomplicated fare presented in a light-filled industrial warehouse, formerly an old gem polishing factory. Truly a diamond in the rough, yet the ideal spot to grab a quick drink with friends or sit down for a premium, approachable dining experience. Expect a seasonally changing menu that tempts taste buds with plates such as chicken ribs with umami glaze, or beef tartare with enoki, yolk and nori. For more hearty appetites perhaps opt for Black Angus flank steak, kumara, daikon and Treviso; before finishing on an indulgent note with chocolate, peanut and crumble, or a blue cheese board, with chutney, lavosh and grapes.