Born: Gold Coast, QLD
History: The first restaurant I worked at was called Chez Gourmet on
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
Unlike some chefs which
have had a passion for cooking from a young age, I didn’t actually get into it
till half way through my university years. I was doing a Degree in Business at
the time and worked in a restaurant part time. The people loved what I
cooked and I developed a passion for making good food. I decided then to pursue
that and that's how it all began.
How would you define your style?
Fresh seafood with an
accent on health. I am a firm believer in eating healthy and keeping a balanced
diet. Vegetables have been traditionally a fairly boring dish and most times
growing up as a child they were overcooked and tasteless. For me, vegetables, if
they are fresh, are such a pure food and I always like to find new and
innovative ways to cook them and change that stereotype.
What is your feature flavour these days?
The flavour changes a lot
and is seasonal. I love fish and I’ll simply work with whatever the day’s catch
is. For example, we have a Mahi Mahi on the menu today, just freshly caught
from last night. With the sea just three minutes walk from the restaurant it
doesn’t get any fresher than this.
Obsessive compulsive about?
Freshness! You can’t go
wrong with good quality fresh ingredients and as I say to my staff, "if you
start off with a fantastic, fresh ingredient which stands on its own and
somehow it goes wrong, then you’ve obviously stuffed up.”
Your greatest culinary inspirations?
The grandma and grandpas
of the world. I have a big respect for older people from all walks of life and
from all over the world. They have so much to teach us especially when it comes
to food and secrets of the trade.
What do you love about this business?
Best part of this
business is the people you meet and the places you travel to. I’ve been
fortunate to have traveled all around the world and worked in kitchens
An ingredient you can’t live without?
Chilli. I’m a big fan of
chilli and lots of it. Some people can’t take spicy food, but I can’t live
If you could cook dinner for anyone, who would it be?
Nelson Mandela. He is
such a wonderful human being because after he was freed, he came out preaching
love and understanding instead of revenge.
What is your guiltiest fast food eatery?
I never touch that stuff.
I’ve had KFC once in my life and that was enough! I do love this one joint
which does a great wood-fired pizza, but I wouldn’t consider that fast food.
It’s called Milk and Honey in Mullumbimby in
Signature Dish: The cataplana of seafood. It’s a Southern Portuguese dish of local seafood and potatoes poached in aromatic light saffron and wine-infused stock with a hint of anise. It’s currently on the menu at Fins but the recipe is also in my cookbook Byron: Cooking and Eating so you can also cook it at home. It’s a great crowd pleaser especially if you use fresh seafood.
Check out our AGFG Book Review on Steven Snow's Byron Cooking and Eating.
At Fins they cook food in an innovative and nutritious manner and achieve this by the judicious use of fresh local herbs, spices, wines and pastes. Their seafood is fresh, local and whenever possible is line-caught. Fins cuisine is not traditional, but rather his interpretation of the best flavours and cooking methods discovered during his Australian and overseas travels. The seasonally changing menu may include: TIAN OF TUNA SASHIMI - Layered tuna sashimi with tobiko, shiso cress, white miso dressing and fish chips or FINS FISH - Glazed in dashi and green tea with black sesame tossed pumpkin, cauliflower puree and finger lime pearls.