Jonathan Wong

Jonathan Wong

Born:

Ipoh, Malaysia.

History:

Computers have always been my interest since I was a child. I started off as a part-time computer technician during high school. I slowly advanced my career from Engineer Level 2 at Acer in Malaysia, to a technical consultant (data storage) in a private IT firm called Maxmulia Holdings. 

While I was studying computer engineering in Fort Wayne, Indiana (Indiana Tech) back in 2005, I rediscovered my interest in food. 

From there, I began to explore the potential of applying my IT skills in cooking. In 2007, I decided to move to Australia. I was then trained in Brisbane under the guidance of French/European cuisines. Throughout the years, I worked as a relief Chef at Montrachet in Brisbane, I was promoted from Commis Chef to Junior Sous Chef at Piaf and became a cook at Mitchell's Quality Foods Lite n' Easy, along with a freelance food stylist. 

Most recently I was the Development Chef for three years at Domino’s Pizza in Brisbane. At Domino’s, I was responsible for developing new and exciting menu items for franchisees, both in Australia and New Zealand. I was also involved in both photo shoots and TV commercials, as well as operational procedures for the franchisees. 

To get to where I am today, I firmly believe in learning new things every day and that being flexible is the key to acquiring knowledge. Becoming a Chef was a lot about discipline, but it also required an enduring quality, while being very rewarding at the same time. If you have the right passion and enthusiasm, you can achieve anything as a Chef – the sky’s the limit! 

Have you always wanted to be a Chef? 

No, but my turning point was back in 2007. After working for several years in IT, I found myself struggling to communicate with computers, because it was just endless problem solving daily. Through good food, I often get beautiful smiles from customers and being able to share good food is priceless. 

How would you define your style? 

French/European as I was trained in Brisbane. Sweets and desserts are my territory, I think they are sexy, vibrant and beautiful. 

What is your feature flavour these days?

Definitely stone fruit, particularly yellow peaches from Lowana Fruits (Renmark, SA). Along with ruby chocolate. Both are so refreshing and well balanced in sweetness.

Obsessive-compulsive about? 

On-point presentation and consistency in recipes. Desserts are what I consider to be the sweet finish to a meal. It is therefore very crucial in terms of presentation and the simplicity of flavour.  

Your greatest culinary influence: 

My mother’s home cooking, hands down! Being born and raised as a Chinese Malaysian (Cantonese), mum’s cooking is all about maximising flavour using the minimum amount of ingredients. 

What do you love about this business? 

Both the challenge and satisfaction. Furneaux is a business that I can finally call my own! 

An ingredient you can’t live without?

Sugar.

Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item? 

I believe that deconstructed food is overrated. Beautiful food should stay in its most original, simple and elegant form. 

Signature dish: 

Crème Brûlée infused with Vanilla and Bridestowe's Lavender.

Furneaux

Furneaux

Soak up beautiful water views over George's Bay at destination restaurant Furneaux on Tasman Highway in St Helens. This East Coast restaurant blends Modern Australian cuisine with a French twist in a seasonal menu focussed on fresh Tasmanian produce, from elegant surrounds of white-clothed tables, wooden bifold doors and windows and copper pendent lights casting a subtle glow over the dining room. Named after an English navigator who sailed with Captain Cook, Furneaux serves modern classics such as French onion soup with cheesy puff crust to start, or perhaps baked snails in mushroom caps with garlic butter. For the main, delve into Tasmanian lamb rump, crushed potatoes, carrots and minted jus; finishing indulgently with vanilla crème brulee and a hint of lavender, encrusted with caramel.

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