AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE - Home of the Chef Hat Awards
Simon Furley

Simon Furley


Bath, UK. 

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. 

Obsessive-compulsive about?
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. 

Signature dish: 

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.

The Paddock Restaurant

The Paddock Restaurant

Celebrating an authentic paddock-to-plate philosophy in the picturesque Gold Coast Hinterland, The Paddock Restaurant on Binna Burra Road in Beechmont delivers unpretentious, wholesome fare celebrating local produce. This 14-hatted dining destination boasts a spacious dining area with lofty ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening alfresco to Hinterland vistas, while guests peruse a menu showcasing cooking over an open fire. Embark on a memorable culinary journey with pork, burnt honey and sweet tomatoes; before delving into white lamb, sunflower seed tahini and confit lamb fat carrots washed down with a glass of red. Vegetarians opt for roasted butternut pumpkin, whipped yoghurt, pumpkin caramel and sprouted seeds; finishing with bottlebrush custard, flower syrup and a donut.

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