Started my apprenticeship over 30 years ago at Clogs in Bendigo (owned by the Van Haandel family) and worked my way up through the ranks in Bendigo and Melbourne in both pubs and restaurants.
Before starting at The Woodhouse, one of my proudest achievements (apart from my family) was to raise the food profile of The National Hotel in Bendigo.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
Yes, I have been cooking since a young boy, I never wanted to be anything else.
How would you define your style?
Wood fired; it’s creative, but simplistic.
It’s a great opportunity to have access to fantastic, fresh produce on our doorstep, here in central Victoria. We let the local produce: grass-fed beef, Wagyu, duck and Berkshire pork, to do the talking with added flavour of our redgum and applewood from nearby Harcourt.
What is your feature flavour these days?
Smoke, using redgum and applewood; although I am very mindful of the balance, as it can be too much throughout three courses.
Obsessive compulsive about?
Produce. Simply. The best we can get; it’s what I have hung my hat on my whole career.
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:
Tony Panetta, Neil Perry, Andrew McConnell, Lennox Hastie, Bruce Morcombe and my Dad. All have helped my journey; personal, close-up and from afar. All legends in their own right.
What do you love about this business?
The constant challenges, the passion in the industry, the love from our customers. You never stop learning as a Chef, and you can push yourself to be better every day.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Our Wagyu, beef, thyme and sugar. (I have a serious sweet tooth!)
Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item?
For size,1kg wood-grilled ribeye. For price, full blood Wagyu scotch fillet. We don’t overdo our ingredients, so our customers are not too scared to have a go.
Sher Family Wagyu tartare #9, quail yolk, Manjimup black truf?e, cornichons, blackened onion, Horseradish, Wagyu bresaola and puffed Wagyu tendon.
Our wood grill - our 40-day dry aged Cohuna Wagyu scotch fillet.
Wood-roasted Harcourt Pink Lady apple, dulce de leche, cinnamon palmier, nutty crumble, caramel glass and vanilla bean ice cream.
Follow the aroma of delicious smokiness to The Woodhouse on Williamson Street in Bendigo. This steakhouse and red gum grill is a local favourite presenting a rustic dining experience, where guests can enjoy a pre-dinner drink in front of an open fire, or dine in the temperature controlled alfresco area. Wagyu lovers will salivate over a menu championing dry-aged beef, along with wood-fired gourmet pizza, charcuterie and indulgent desserts, all sourced from fresh local produce. Kick start a culinary journey with sashimi tuna, avocado, wakame, pickled baby cucumber, soy, radish and sesame; before duck breast, grilled cos leaf, compressed apple, wild fig, turnip, charred carrot, hazelnuts, parsnip and Bigarade sauce. Those who can’t decide may opt for the three-course tasting offering.