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Jiri Solnicka
Jiri Solnicka

Jiri Solnicka

Born:  Czechoslovakia

History:  Jiri has had over 30 year’s international experience both here and in Europe and this is evident in the wealth of knowledge he brings to Currumbin RSL.  Coming to Australia in the early 80’s from the thenCzechoslovakia, he had planned to live in Brisbane close to an uncle who had migrated years before.  He was told the Gold Coast was only an hour away so on his third day in the country, he caught the train to the Gold Coast and decided this was the place for him.

First, he worked in Miami at the famous Painted Lobster seafood restaurant and from there moved onto Surfers Paradise at a restaurant on Orchid Ave.  After a stint on the glitter strip, he moved back to Europe for one year and worked as head chef at a restaurant in Vienna.

Then back to the Gold Coast where he began work in brand new restaurant in Southport, Cassidy’s, which was one of the first restaurants on the Gold Coast to offer live lobsters and there he remained for three years.  Then Jiri headed back to Europe where he worked in Germany at a small boutique hotel near Frankfurt He returned to the Gold Coast a year later and made his way to Broadbeach where he worked at Conrad Jupiter’s Casino.  He remained for a year and then found his niche at the Seaworld Nara resort.  After 2 years, he became Executive Chef and he remained for a further 15 years. 

He enjoyed this challenging position as it involved overseeing four restaurants, banqueting and room service to over 400 suites.  After leaving this position he moved to Broom, WA and worked for the Rendezvous Group as Executive Chef in a fine dining 5 star resort and briefly in King Fisher Bay resort in Fraser Island but missed the Gold Coast and came back and worked for himself for 6 months before moving to Currumbin RSL.  He has now been with the Club for over 2 years as Executive Chef for Alleys, multi award winning Restaurant, The award winning reception venue and also the Club’s off site catering company, Foodoo.

Q & A with Jiri Solnicka

Style Definition:  Fusion. Travel is important because it gives you a different outlook. I enjoying combining foods that are not usual and inAustralia people are not afraid to try contemporary, modern cuisine that doesn’t fit a particular style.

Feature flavour: I love to use fresh herbs and high quality produce.  The Club gives full support to ordering local with the motto, “Think Global, Love Local” and there is nothing better than slow food for your tummy and the environment.

Obsessions:  I am a very organized person and as such require my staff to be so. I like to be prepared and always have a plan B and where possible be one step ahead.  I understand that things don’t always go to plan but believe if I am prepared I will succeed.

Inspirations:  Gordon Ramsay from a culinary point of view. His recipes allow for freedom of expression.  I have found I can combine two or three of his recipes to create one dish.

What do you love about Currumbin RSL? Although being a very professional establishment with a multitude of facets, the Club is not as pushy as many corporate businesses and the establishment itself has a warm, friendly and welcoming atmosphere, largely due to the high caliber of staff.   The staff throughout the Club - from upper management to the floor staff - have a great attitude and work as a team to help each other out.

Ingredient I can’t live without:  Salt

Eyebrow raising menu items:  In the new menu, available in May, I am offering a fish dish combination with chorizo sausage which some may think is an unusual combination having sausage served with fish, but I assure you the combination works well.

Also a dish that is slightly unusual was one we offered on Australia Day and proved to be very popular: Wild barramundi wrapped in paper bark, a barramundi fillet dusted with lemon myrtle and rosella jam wrapped in paper bark and served on rocket and sweet potato salad then finished with a mango dressing.