Born: Johannesburg, South Africa
History: I started cooking commercially at 18 years of age at Ninos Restaurant in Cape Town, and three years later opened Amici 24 Hour Pizzeria. In Jan 2003 I moved to London, working for Admiral Contract Catering, where I met my wife Belinda, and moved to Brisbane about two years later. I started work at Beccofino shortly after their opening and had an ongoing professional relationship with them for the next four or five years, during which time I also worked at Cafe Dell'ugo, Cafe Cirque, Il Forno and several others.
In 2009, I opened Cafe Portofino 'til we sold two years later when my daughter was born, at which time I decided to refine my skills. I did several stages at some of Australia's top restaurants such as Ortiga Brisbane and Quay Sydney, and a seven month stint at one of Canbera's top restaurants, Mezzalira.
Have you always wanted to be a chef?
I have always enjoyed cooking. As a teenager I would hold dinner parties and invite friends to make pasta at home with me. My father was an importer of Italian culinary products so I was fortunate to learn about good produce from a young age; however, I think only in the last few years have I really understood what it means to be a chef and feel a responsibility towards an industry that has provided me with so many opportunities.
How would you define your style?
Traditional flavours with modern technique.
What is your feature flavour these days?
The amazing truffles we are managing to harvest all around Australia - not only because they are such an amazing ingredient, but because the men and women have worked so hard to bring the legacy of the truffle to our shores.
Obsessive compulsive about?
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:
Georgio Locatelli for modern Italian, Peter Gilmore for uniqueness and Massimo Bottura for inspiration. I try to learn from all chefs and cooks.
What do you love about this business?
That it can inspire people's lives as much as their palates.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item?
Wild boar ragu with cocoa.
Signature dish: Squid ink pasta with seafood aglio olio