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Sam Moore
Sam Moore

Sam Moore

Sam Moore



I fell in love with cooking as soon as I set foot in a commercial kitchen at the age of five. I looked forward to whiling away the hours foraging in the Scottish countryside for chestnuts, berries, herbs and leaves for my father’s restaurant and this experience has given me an immense appreciation for native produce.

By 16, I had completed my apprenticeship and a year on from that I won the title of 'Young Scottish Chef of the Year' while working as a Chef de partie. Coincidentally, it was the same year my father received the prestigious 'Scottish Chef of the Year' accolade – so a full sweep for the Moore household that year!  

A position at the prestigious five-star Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh – a regular feature in UK Top 10 Luxury Hotel lists – followed that, after which I headed to Australia. 

I count myself very fortunate to have worked in some of the nation's most respected kitchens — Greg Doyle’s Pier in Rose Bay, Justin North’s Becasse and No.35 at Sofitel Melbourne alongside Stuart McVeigh. All this prepared me to helm the kitchen at Room 81 at Sofitel Gold Coast, where we garnered critical acclaim and elevated the restaurant’s ranking in the national restaurant awards.

At Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street’s Luci restaurant I’ve crafted a contemporary Australian menu with accents of Melbourne's Italian and European culinary traditions weaved in. 

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?

As my father is also a Chef I grew up in kitchens. My passion for good food continued to develop as I got older and I had the good fortune of working with and learning from great Chefs both in Europe and here in Australia. Chefs such as Stuart McVeigh with whom I worked with at No.35 were a great influence on me, they helped and encouraged me to develop my own style. I can’t imagine any other life other than in a kitchen.

How would you define your style?

Reflecting contemporary Australian with European influences; showcasing the finest culinary craftsmanship in an honest and creative approach. I’m very driven by the story behind the cuisine and I enjoy paying tribute to traditional recipes.

What is your feature flavour these days?

Something inspired, refined, polished: Modern Australian with Italian roots.

Obsessive-compulsive about?

Cleanliness and organisation. I love to work in a very clean and organised environment I always have. It helps me to focus and helps me to feel Zen.  

Your greatest culinary influence: 

My father, he has always pushed me to be better. Also John McMahon (Prestonfield Chef) and Stuart McVeigh (No.35).

What do you love about this business?

The opportunities to travel the world; the team members I have met; the passion and drive of different individuals and the freedom to be creative. Also knowing what you do for a living is delivering joy to the diners and their friends each and every day. 

An ingredient you can’t live without?

Vinegars – vinegars are so versatile from lifting a sauce and pickling to making dressings – the list goes on.

Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item?

Bombolone – a dish we tested and experimented with for more than three months! It may sound simple but it’s a sensational flavour and experience. The Bombolone has a hot, deep-fried outside, with a rich filling of peach from local farms and homemade mascarpone, all served with white chocolate ice cream. 

Signature dish:

At Luci it has to be my dry-aged Macedon duck breast, celeriac and radicchio. This dish is striking a balance between classic and modern sensibilities, showcasing my culinary philosophy of highlighting quality ingredients all prepared with simplicity at the fore. The duck is sourced from a local producer and we perform an ageing process for one week in Luci’s kitchen ageing cabinet. This process enhances the gamey flavours and very much reminds me of home.