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Mark Axisa
Mark Axisa

Mark Axisa

Born: Sydney

History: At the age of 16, I began my apprenticeship at Western Sydney Institute whilst working at the Epping Hotel and Bookers Bistro. I joined the Catalina team late 2001 as a 3rd year apprentice and haven't looked back. It is now coming up to my 10th year at Catalina's.  Moving up the ranks from an inexperienced apprentice to Head Chef has been a exciting yet challenging journey.

Have you always wanted to be a chef?

I was inspired to cook by my Maltese mother, who would show me how to make the family recipe of bolognaise sauce from the age of 10.  Good wholesome food was part of growing up in a European family and this planted a seed from a young age. Food has become one of my passions in life and I thoroughly enjoy making people happy through my dishes.

How would you define your style? 

Modern Australian with a Maltese twist (an interesting mixture between the Sicilian, Italian, African, Mediterranean and English cuisines)

What is your featured flavour these days? 

Pork - we have access to the highest quality local produce.  The Roasted suckling pig with apple purée, braised red cabbage and raisins is one of our signature dishes.

Obsessive compulsive about? Cleanliness and sourcing the very best of local produce

Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences? 

Mark Best (Marque), Peter Gilmore (Quay) and Thomas Keller (Per Se and The French Laundry)

What do you love about this business?

I love the fast pace environment, ever changing inspirations and new local produce available to be shared with our clientele.

An ingredient you can't live without?  Sea Salt

Most "eyebrow raising" menu item? Duck Tongue

Signature Dish: Cone Bay saltwater barramundi with spanner crab parcel; sage and eschalot cream

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