Graham Jefferies
Graham Jefferies

Graham Jefferies

Born: Harare, Zimbabwe

History: I lived in South Africa until I was eighteen. I then went to Europe to travel and found myself working in pubs. It wasn’t long before I ended up in the kitchen and found my true passion, cooking. I worked in London for 7 years before becoming head chef of a gastro pub in Brighton. In 2004 I spent a year travelling through India and Asia and ended up in Australia where I then worked at Lynchs honing pastry skills, before becoming sous chef at Pettavel Restaurant and Winery on the Bellarine Peninsula. In 2009 I returned to the UK to take a job as sous chef at the Crown of Whitebrook, the only restaurant at the time in Wales with a Michelin Star. During this time in the UK I did a month's stage at the Fat Duck. I also staged at New York's three star restaurant, Daniel. In late 2010 I returned to Australia to take up the head chef role at Baveras in Geelong, a new restaurant. I moved to the Wildflower in November 2011.

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?

My family has always been very food orientated and my mum was a fantastic cook. I loved being in the kitchen. I realized that I wanted to take it seriously after a meal at L’arpege, a Paris three star restaurant, which made me realize just how amazing dining could be.

How would you define your style?

Contemporary but light… nothing worse than feeling like you have to see a doctor after a meal. I use a high vegetable content in my dishes and focus a lot on texture. Free range meats are extremely important to me. I am produce driven and use modern cooking methods.

What is your feature flavour these days?

Chipotle chillis, they are amazing

Obsessive compulsive about?

Consistency.

Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences?
 
My mum. As far as chefs go, Thomas Keller, and my most recent would be Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Garden. His new book is fantastic.

What do you love about this business? 

I like the fact that it is a real job. As a chef I provide someone with a meal. It is basic and grounded, providing a service that (hopefully) will make someone happy. I also love seeing the chefs develop and flourish in their career. 

An ingredient you can’t live without?

Lemons 

Most “eyebrow raising” menu item?

I put pressed pigs head with yabbies, tarragon mayonaisse and fried ears on the menu in Geelong and that raised a few eyebrows..