My first job in a kitchen was as a dishy at age 14, I left school soon after and became an apprentice Chef when I was 16. I worked in a tavern with two kitchens and really enjoyed it, but I wanted to get experience in a range of diverse kitchens, so I could learn as much as possible at a young age. I decided to travel to expand my knowledge as a Chef, which is what I did for several years working in different kitchens and with different cuisines.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
No, not always. I decided that I wanted to go into a career in the kitchen when I received my first Chef’s job. I loved the sounds, smells and the noise, the fast pace nature of the kitchen really inspires me, and I haven’t looked back since.
How would you define your style?
I used to have one style, however over the years of learning different techniques from different Chefs, books, and kitchens my style has changed greatly. So, these days I consider myself an all-rounder.
What is your feature flavour these days?
I like to cook with seafood. There is so much potential in what you can create with seafood. Having said that, the seafood in this country is so good and the flavours so unique, that the key is to complement the seafood rather than change the flavours.
Obsessive compulsive about?
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:
The thing I am most inspired by with food is the potential for creativity. There is so much scope to create something new with different flavours, ingredients and techniques, that creating a dish is like creating a new piece of art.
Massimo Bottura, Virgilio Martinez and Auguste Escoffier provide inspiration for me in terms of their flare, style and creative vision.
What do you love about this business?
Whilst there are challenges in terms of long hours, managing staff, and time spent away from my family, the creative outlet this profession provides helps develop me as a person, and gives me the opportunity to develop skills which I can take anywhere in the world. It’s not a job where you will ever know everything, you constantly keep learning and improving your skills.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item?
The Night Cap – Hemingway’s signature edible cigar served with a smoky rum cocktail.
Whitsunday Snapper – freshly caught local snapper, served with air-dried prosciutto, a cauliflower bisque, clams and colourful mixed grains.