Reading , Berkshire, UK.
Starting out as an apprentice Chef at The Royal County Hotel in Berkshire at the age of 15, I progressed to working in rosetted kitchens in the Home Counties of the UK. A move to Cromer on the east coast of the UK, gave me a love of seafood.
Returning to Berkshire, I worked at the UK headquarters of Microsoft before heading back into the country working at the Winterbourne Arms, focusing on local produce and game.
A big life-changing move came in 2010 when I moved to Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays, working on boats including The Denison Star which was a 60-seater fine-dining vessel.
I am proud to call myself a Sunshine Coast local. After moving to the coast in 2012, I instantly fell in love with the wide variety of produce that the Sunshine Coast has to offer. With my previous experience working in gastropubs in England's south, the variety and seasonality of Sunshine Coast produce was the perfect partnership to my traditional cooking style.
In 2012, with my partner (now wife) Haley and son Harry, I moved to Head Chef roles at Lemon & Thyme in Mooloolaba and Brouhaha Brewery; before finally taking the leap of faith to open up Mill Street Kitchen & Pantry in October 2019.
I have always had the dream to open my own place. One that I could not only cook and prepare meals using seasonal produce from the Sunshine Coast region, but also allow locals to fill their pantries and fridges with fresh local fruit, veg, meat and bulk products.
Mill Street Kitchen & Pantry is that dream! Together with Haley, we have created a place where locals can come for a coffee and a meal in a warming and welcoming environment and feel-good shopping experience.
How would you define your style:
I have been lucky to work for a host of different Chefs in my career, which has given me a chance to cook a lot of different styles and genres. I would say my style is local produce, uncomplicated and fresh. I don’t do a set cuisine as it depends on the produce I have available to me at any one time.
What is your feature flavour these days?
I’m really in to experimenting with tempeh (fermented soy bean) and also homemade preserves at the moment. We have a fully stocked retail pantry in the shop, so I try to use at least one new product I've not used before each week.
Waste!! I will use anything given to me, making a special etc. If all else fails we use our food waste for a local farm’s compost and chicken feed.
Your greatest culinary influence:
Too many to mention in person I’d say. All of my previous Head Chefs have taught me something new. One guy I would like to mention as he had real feel for hospitality, was one of my old bosses in the UK Frank Adams. He had such an appetite for pleasing guests and knew how to create a positive working environment. He worked in the trade all his life working with and for many famous people from the UK in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
He unfortunately passed away not so long ago, but I will always be thankful for what he taught me and also his stories!
What do you love about this business?
Local customers, we have gained some real friends who shop and eat at Mill Street, on a regular basis. The look on customers’ faces when they see the shop for the first time! They don’t expect it to be in the centre of Nambour.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Herbs! They take your dish to the next level. Even better if you have grown them yourself.
Most eyebrow-raising menu item?
At the moment it would be the brunch gnocchi - gluten-free and pan-fried with streaky bacon, local tomatoes and poached egg. Or our nose-to-tail meatballs, using brisket and offal from the Wagyu beef we get locally.
Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. We do a traditional Sunday roast in the Winter months and sell out well in advance. Years of cooking this each week brings a warm feeling, as it takes me back to my childhood and also the great people I've worked with over the years.