Neil Mitchell

Neil Mitchell

Methodology. It has to be done right. There is a method to everything in life.
Born: Calliope, Central Queensland, born from Scottish parents

History: After starting out a career in Gladstone under Scottish Chef Jimmy Quinn from St Andrew Golf Clubin Scotland, I drifted through Hamilton Island, working at Pier 9, Arc Bisto and Il Centro in Brisbane before spending a year on white boats. After working on the boats, I took off to the United Kingdom to learn my trade in the Soho House group/Babington House as well as Damien Hirsts -11, The Quay and Hotel Du Vin in Brighton before returning to thaw out and set up a catering company in Port Douglas. Now Daisy May’s Coffee Boutique in Cairns is home.

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?

I’m not sure how it happened. I kind of fell into it and have been addicted ever since. It becomes a way of life.

How would you define your style?

There’s no real definition that fits. I love learning and understanding traditional dishes and methods but also I am fascinated with molecular gastronomy. The Fat Duck is my favourite restaurant to dine at.

What is your feature flavour these days?

Local produce - you can’t go wrong. The local producers are very passionate in what they do up here, and it shows in the end product.

Obsessive compulsive about?

Methodology. It has to be done right. There is a method to everything in life.

Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences?

Jimmy Quinn (the first chef I worked for), Heston Blumenthal, Michael brass from Brasses France, and Ferran Adrià from El Bulli, Spain.

What do you love about this business?

No day is the same. It’s never boring and there’s always something going on.

An ingredient you can’t live without?

The love of my wife and daughter.

Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item?

Rabbit blood sorbet with Tabaco essence

Signature dish: A very open question - every creation is on its own merits. 

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