Matt Dawson
Matt Dawson

Matt Dawson

Born: Wangaratta, VIC

History: I started my training in Country Victoria in gastro pubs. I did the winery circuit in Rutherglen which drove my passion for fine food.

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
As a child I've always enjoyed helping at home with the family meals. I studied home economics through high school and then gained employment after school as an apprentice chef. I found that my interest in cooking further developed as my experience grew. 

How would you define your style? 
Modern Australian - Asian flavours with European techniques. 

Obsessive compulsive about? 
Food, food, food!! I love all things hospitality but have an obsession with books. My kitchen at home has towers of books and magazines and I could sit with a cold beer and read for hours.

Your greatest culinary inspirations?
My main inspirations have come from my travels. I have spent time in both Indonesia and Japan but I also have a great respect for the European masters and would one day like to do a stint in Europe. I would love to spend time with Thomas Keller, Jamie Oliver, David Chang and Masaharu Morimoto. I'm also mad about the TV shows, especially Iron Chef Japan, Iron Chef America and Great British Menu. 

Most “eyebrow raising” menu item? 
Beetroot crisp with whipped goats cheese and beetroot caviar (caviar is made using elbulli textures range). 

Signature Dish: Asian inspired seafood-tasting plate. Designed to share for 2 people



You know the scene at Republica in St Kilda even if you haven’t been there; its design and setup is testament to the cool chic Melbourne lifestyle that is all about keeping it fun, fresh and funky. Found in the Sea Baths complex overlooking Port Phillip Bay, this venue ticks all the boxes; charismatic - the ideal place for people watching and serving great food every night of the week. The restaurant menu may include dishes like fried chicken wings, harissa and preserved lemon aioli; as well as salt and pepper calamari, saltbush and smoked garlic aioli. If after heartier options try pork cotoletta, saltimbocca butter, mixed leaves and chips or pick up a slice of pizza with pancetta, artichokes, fontina and olives. Finish indulgently with a salted caramel parfait and popcorn ice cream.

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