Stuart’s great skills in French and modern Australian cuisine have been honed with some of the industry’s best, including Langtons and Liberté, the multi award-winning Philippe Mouchel at Paul Bocuse, Alain Fabrègues at the Loose Box (Australia’s best restaurant of 1995), and Jacques Reymond (Australia’s best Restaurant of 1997 and 1998).
Stuart completed his apprenticeship at the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne with Bruno Cerdan, then progressed through the Mouchel, Fabrègues and Reymond kitchens before working in Peacock Alley (one Michelin star) and Thornton’s (two Michelin stars) in Ireland.
He returned to work again with both Philippe Mouchel and Alain Fabrègues, and in 2006 moved his young family to the Mornington Peninsula. He joined Ten Minutes by Tractor as Chef in 2007, and the following year gained this accolade from Gourmet Traveller: ‘This new operation is the best gastronomic outpost to have opened on the Mornington Peninsula in a long time.’
In 2010, Stuart was again recognised by Gourmet Traveller, which ranked the Ten Minutes by Tractor Restaurant in Victoria’s Top 10 regional restaurants.
The kangaroo dish has evolved through my time as a chef and I really enjoy the combination of flavours and textures.
What ingredients can be substituted in your signature dish?
Kangaroo for duck or venison.
Any funny or interesting stories surrounding your dish?
I have converted quite a few people with my brussel sprouts — they are not just boiled like mum make them.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Continuing to provide everyone with local and foraged ingredients that, above all, taste delicious.
What’s your earliest memory of food?
A good home-cooked roasted chicken, golden potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Cook from your heart and cook what you love to eat.
What advice would you give a novice cook?
Always love to eat what you cook.
Weapon of choice in the kitchen?
Fish lifter—nothing flash but it is a classic.
What would you do with a jar of tomato sauce?
A potato gnocchi, tomato sauce, fresh basil, parmesan and cracked pepper.