Born: Wagga Wagga NSW
History: Started Cheffing in 1969 in Canberra in Hotel Lakeside International where I cooked for The Queen, Prime Ministers, Politicians, Senators and other Country Leaders. Here I completed my apprentice in only 3 short years cutting a year off due to good grades. I was awarded apprentice chef of the year.
I moved to the Gold Coast for the opening of Conrad Jupiter’s Nichols Restaurant. I began as Sous Chef at the Ramada Hotel and left when I was 24 as the youngest executive chef in the chain. I then formed a partnership with the Percuoco family after becoming the Executive Chef at Ristorante Grissini before becoming a partner in Ristorante Fellini where we have been the leading restaurant on the Gold Coast for the last 15 years.
Have you always wanted to be chef?
I have not always wanted to be a chef. I originally wanted to be a heart surgeon as I like working with my hands. But when I was young and playing sport I was approached and offered a great opportunity to begin an apprenticeship at the Hotel Lakeside International.
How would you define your style?
Clean, fresh and uncomplicated.
Obsessive compulsive about?
Freshness and quality of the food.
Your Greatest culinary inspirations?
Originally my grandmother and mother, and now over the years I have worked with so many people; German, French, Swiss and Italian to English and Scottish. All of these people have influenced me in some way of another.
Most “eyebrow raising“ menu item?
trota di mare al ragu di patate: fresh deep sea tasmanian ocean trout grilled and served over a ragu of potato, leek, tomato, zucchini, saffron and chives. Popular for its colour, texture and flavours.
Signature Dish: rollata di vitello ai funghi; veal tenderloin rolled with sautéed fresh wild mushrooms, wrapped in pancetta, oven roasted and served with wilted spinach, reduced jus and a truffle infused cream. This dish is a very traditional dish that I have taken all the same ingredients and put it together in a different way.