Sam Prance-Smith

Sam Prance-Smith

Born:

Adelaide, South Australia 

History: 

I began my formal cooking career at the age of 15 when I started my apprenticeship at the renowned Lenzerheide restaurant. This experience provided a strong foundation and exposure to quality fine dining. Following this I worked in various Adelaide establishments including pubs, hotels and fine dining restaurants to broaden my knowledge and skills.

After a lot of hard work and determination, in 2010 I had an opportunity to attend The Fat Duck where Heston was guest speaker, that mixed with a bit of luck and oddly placed seating, I was fortunate enough to secure a stage at The Fat Duck in 2011.

This was the absolute highlight of my career and after returning from the UK, I then completed a lengthy stage at Attica. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work in two of the finest restaurants in the world. These experiences assisted with growing my technical skills and personal food identity. 

After moving to Melbourne and working at Attica, Cutler & Co, Brooks and Pure South Dining, I really began to feel that I had finally found my place and style of food I loved cooking. Creating my own style and knowing which path I wanted to take.

All of these experiences combined, along with the Chefs I have had the pleasure of working with, have helped to get me where I am today.

Have you always wanted to be a Chef? 

Yes. I used to always help my Mum in the kitchen, my family has always been heavily involved in food and grown fruits and vegetables. I started as a kitchen hand at 14 and loved the environment - the chaos and the refinement all at the same time. This is what sparked my passion.

How would you define your style?
 
Contemporary Modern Australian 

What is your feature flavour these days? 

Wood-fired smoke, garums, ferments and aged fish.   

Obsessive-compulsive about? 

Masking tape for labelling has to be straight cut not ripped off.

Your greatest culinary influence: 

My Mum firstly, then I would say David Farmer my mentor throughout my cooking as an 
apprentice and to this date still.

A lot of Chef friends who I have worked with all play a big part in influencing my ideas 
and directions on a dish, I still call my best mate Franz and say: 

"I’m thinking of doing this…. What do you think?”

What do you love about this business? 

Seeing customers experience and reaction when they taste my food and ask questions on how was this done or why did you put that ingredient with that particular protein? I love having the opportunity to spend time educating them on the journey behind my creations.

An ingredient you can’t live without?
 
Sea salt – seems boring but so versatile. 

Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item?

Fish liver mousse, cured Kingfish heart, garum and pickled Meyer lemon. 

Signature dish:

Wood-fired scallops, fresh polenta, seaweed butter and sea greens.  

What do you think the past 12 months of COVID has taught restaurants and Chefs about their diners and the industry in general?

Don’t take anything for granted as overnight life can change pretty quickly. 

Secondly, customers have really started to question where their food comes from and how it is being handled. There is increased awareness to support a local restaurant, café or pub, who actually support small local fishermen, producers and farmers. 

Tell us something no one knows about you?

I am a keen woodworker and knife maker. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Angler being the benchmark standard for how seafood is sourced and handled. We want to expand the ethos and idea of what Angler stands for into other sectors of the industry.

Angler Stirling

Angler Stirling

Creating a sustainable and ethical fish and chippery is the ethos behind Angler Stirling on Mount Barker Road in the Adelaide Hills. The first in South Australia to sell dry-aged fish, Angler presents a compact space with stools and a bar top overlooking the street for those who want to dine in; while the concise menu sources fresh catches daily from local fishermen, prepared respectfully onsite to tempt all tastes. Perhaps cast your line for some Spencer Gulf prawns, with kingfish and XO sauce; before reeling in dry-aged fish, cooked over blue gum and mallee root, with a Captain salad and honey mustard dressing. Wrap your fins around a crispy sardine sandwich, with pickled onions, herbs and Angler sauce; or delve into a mild curry scallop pie, potato cakes and hand-cut sea salted chips.

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