History: He began his cooking
career in several Thai and Indian Restaurants in
Simon’s television career started in 2004 with appearances on the ABC series Beat the Chef . It was here he was discovered and offered the co-host role on the now hit series on ABC1 The Cook and the Chef with local food icon Maggie Beer. Having just celebrated 100 episodes of the Cook and the Chef, another series will be filmed in 2009.
always wanted to be a Chef?
Being a professional chef was not always in Simon’s original plans. After completing a motor mechanics apprenticeship, Simon undertook a Bachelor of Economics at
would you define your style?
Local, seasonal, regional foods cooked simply. Always let the ingredients remain the focus of the dish, most of the time less really is more.
Using fresh ingredients, knowing where your ingredients came from. Knowing your providores, this can be the key to really understanding how to best cook the produce that they grow. Dish design is the next critical step. It is really important to spend some time working out which cooking method and style best suits the produce and really lets it shine through in a memorable way to the diner. It’s about respect, you need to honour the effort the grower has put into his product in your dishes.
greatest culinary inspirations?
Too many to list, anyone that cares passionately about food is going to be a huge influence on your style. Working in this industry I have been lucky enough to meet and collaborate with so many knowledgeable and skilled people, it rubs off.
raising” menu item?
More like eye lash raising: we put alpaca on the menu because I believe it is a great fit for our states fragile climate: a water wise, light footed, gentle grazer. Needless to say this was met with some criticism because they really are a beautiful creature but then what animal isn’t?
Signature dish: I don’t believe in the term. A signature is like a snowflake: each one truly unique and individual. On the other hand chefs belong to a long line of great teachers and experimenters: we inadvertently take a little of this history every time we design a dish. To say your dish is as unique as your signature just seems a little contrived to me. Of course there are some great chefs who come up with a truly original idea but they are perhaps one per generation.