I started working in restaurants at 16 around my hometown of Bath, washing up and helping where I could. This ignited my passion for food and from there, I worked in all manner of restaurants from Rosette accolade to Michelin Star in Europe, before deciding to travel and work.
From there, I became a Private Chef for high-net-worth clients all over Europe on their private yachts and at villa ski resorts for four years before making a move to Australia for what was supposed to be two years.
Here I fell in love with the Scenic Rim in the Gold Coast Hinterland so much I decided to stay. I started my journey at Homage where I spent six years, starting as a Sous Chef before being promoted to Head Chef where I introduced only sustainable, local, and ethical cooking.
This is where Chef Ash Martin and I worked together to evolve the restaurant into a fire-based one.
From here, I moved on to Beechmont Estate, building the onsite restaurant from the ground up. The Paddock is now a Chef-hatted restaurant which celebrates an authentic paddock-to-plate philosophy, where each meal tells a story when you are here and showcases where you are.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
No, I wanted to be a stunt man, but that didn’t really work out. When I look back now, I remember being at my Gran’s house after school and watching back-to-back episodes of ‘Ready, Steady Cook’ and ‘Heston Blumenthal – In Search Of Perfection’.
How would you define your style?
If it’s not from here, it’s not on here. Contemporary and natural.
What is your feature flavour these days?
Wood-fired - cooked over timber.
Respecting every ingredient and educating younger Chefs to follow the same principle
Your greatest culinary influence:
What do you love about this business?
Every day is different and I get to decide how crazy we want to get food wise. The team I currently work with just get it, there is so much creativity while still limiting ourselves to only local ingredients.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Cheddar cheese, the good stuff cloth-aged.
Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item:
Something I haven’t seen before like eyeball ice cream, flaming cow’s udder or (as we do at the lodge) proper jelly for dessert. As we reduce food waste at The Paddock, we boil pigs feet as we butcher all our animals.
Freshwater crayfish cooked over timber, shell mayonnaise, sour red apple and finger lime.
Tell us something no one knows about you?
I was once attacked by a squirrel! I still have the scar!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Some beautiful run-down barn turned into a little restaurant in the Scenic Rim cooking over wood fire.