I grew up calling Noosa home.
The first time I stepped into a kitchen (not as a dishy) was with Seasons Restaurant Noosa, completing my apprenticeship under Andrew Tomlin. I then took an opportunity to work with previously hatted, Two Small Rooms in Brisbane with Aaron Holt.
Not long after, I was off to Sydney, making the dash to take a coveted spot at repeatedly hatted restaurant Flying Fish. Stephen Seckold and the team at Flying Fish had a reputation for being the best Seafood Restaurant in the country at the time, which for me, was the best place I could think of being.
After a few years in Sydney, 3 hatted Chef Jacques Raymond took me in and I went as far south as a Noosa boy could be to learn under his direction in Melbourne. Since then, I returned back to Sydney refining my skills with local favourite dining haunts like Drake Eatery and The Corner House, and now, I have returned to where it all began, calling Pier 33 Mooloolaba home, as opening Head Chef.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
When I was younger I couldn’t shake the idea of wanting to be a Pro-surfer… So, when my family said I needed to start paying for my own surfboards, I began working in a kitchen. After washing dishes and cutting what seemed like a never-ending bunch of parsley, it didn’t take me long to figure out that maybe cooking was something I could stick with.
How would you define your style?
It’s about being seasonal, local and letting the produce do the talking.
What is your feature flavour these days?
I’ve been working with a producer from South Australia who focuses on native Australian ingredients and you’ll see many of my dishes influenced by these native flavours. Sustainability runs parallel with everything I do, so you can expect to taste dishes which are influenced by certain produce and proteins.
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:
My Oma’s philosophy to family dining has had a huge impact on the types of dishes I serve. She was Danish, so there was a lot of rich and flavoursome meals on our table. It brought our family together, and that’s the type of dining I try to bring to Pier 33.
What do you love about this business?
I love working behind the scenes and creating regionally focused cuisine. From research and finding the real heroes of our industry e.g. the farmers and growers responsible for the produce and wine I cook with to the team who support my vision, that’s the best part of it for me.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
No short of a lie, I can’t live without lemons.
Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item?
Surprisingly our Fish Wings in Brine have completely thrown our diners into a spin. Whether you love them or hate them, they’re not something you see plated every day, especially in the Sunshine Coast Region. We treat them like a first class cut and once everyone’s wrapped their head around the dish, most end up devouring this salty dish and asking for more.
Signature dish:We’ve created a cult following for the Milly Hill Lamb Shoulder. It’s cooked for 12 hours and served with a seasonal garnish and jus. Right now, it’s plated with Winter peas and we have regulars who come in once a week to eat it, or our keen day trippers from Brisbane who’ve heard they have to taste it.
Those who are lucky enough to find themselves in the picturesque Sunshine Coast suburb of Mooloolaba, be sure to take a visit to Pier 33, moored along Parkyn Parade. A nautical theme ties the interior in with the surrounding marina, with painted rowing oars adorning the white washed walls above blond wood tables set with navy and stripe cushion seating. Opt to be seated alfresco as you enjoy the cooling breeze and water views of bobbing boats abroad while perusing a seafood inspired menu offering the likes of local reef fish with avocado, pomelo and yuzu dressing, while those with an impressive appetite might enjoy the roasted Toowoomba eye fillet with mixed mushrooms. Be sure to save room for dessert with the indulgent local Summer berry Pavlova and Italian DOC Prosecco granita.