I moved from Geelong to Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road to complete my apprenticeship. Then worked my way up the East coast of Australia, working in various resorts and small restaurants building my skills. On our travels, we stumbled across a small restaurant in Yamba called Pippi’s Café & Restaurant (we were 22-years-old at the time), and in the blink of an eye we bought it! We owned that little restaurant for 3 years and it helped me grow as a Chef and develop my menu writing skills as well as working with local producers. After that, we travelled Europe for 8 months, then when we arrived back in Australia we headed for the sunshine and landed on the Gold Coast – which is where we have been for the past 10 years.
I worked as the Chef de Cuisine at Vie Bar + Restaurant at Palazzo Versace for close to 3 years, working closely with Steve Szabo in that time. After my time there, I moved to Seaduction at Soul in Surfers Paradise where I was the Executive Sous Chef for 4 years. Then after a year as Executive Chef at Oskars in Burleigh, The North Room came about… and here we are!
Have you always
wanted to be a Chef?
I always knew I wanted to work with food. My Mum was pretty old school, and really like to overcook everything. She wasn’t really into sauces or dressings. So, I really got interested from high school and the passion built from there.
How would you define your style?
Coastal European, local and seasonal.
Obsessive Compulsive About?
Presentation and flavour. I think that food should visually awaken your senses, you really do eat with your eyes. Though in saying that – many Chefs can make food ‘Instagram worthy,’ but without the flavour to back it up. If it doesn’t taste good, or its not needed on the plate – then I won’t serve it.
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:
Thomas Keller – French Laundry, Rene Redzepi – Noma, Alex Atala – D.O.M and Daniel Humm – Eleven Madison Park.
Most "eyebrow raising” menu item?
The Comte Gruyere, brioche, apple and kipfler crisps.
It sounds simple enough – but this amazing toasted brioche sandwich with perfectly melted cheese comes out… apple puree on the side for you to slather over the top. Oh, and the kipfler chips that are covered in our own cheese salt.
Served with nothing but a knife so you can share it with your dining companion/s. It’s all about evoking a childhood memory, cheese sandwiches eaten with your hands… no cutlery required. It takes everyone to their happy place!
Beef short rib, burnt onion and maple jam, celeriac and cured egg yolk. It’s a dish we don’t think will be able to leave the menu any time soon!