Starting his apprenticeship in Colac, VIC, where he was born, Simon began working in pubs, cafes and restaurants along the Great Ocean Road coastline and the Otways district. He moved to Melbourne to further develop his skills before travelling throughout Europe to experience different cultures and cuisines. Simon returned to Australia with an ambition to create a restaurant menu led by locally grown and sourced seasonal ingredients, allowing the freshness and integrity of the produce to do the talking. His food journey continues to develop in close collaboration with local farmers and food producers of the Otway district, working with them to find and grow the best ingredients suited to sustainable farming and harvesting practices.
The resulting menu at Bespoke Harvest uses concepts from the Middle-East with an emphasis on pulses, grains, seeds and vegetable-based dishes that don’t always rely on protein being the hero.
Simon was invited to contribute a recipe for the SBS series, dining companion and cookbook: “For the Love of Meat,” with Matthew Evans.
Simon looks to Yotam Ottolenghi and George Biron for inspiration and his signature dish at the moment is Brisket with chickpea hummus, cabbage and green raisin. This is the dish featured in For the Love of Meat cookbook.