AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE - Home of the Chef Hat Awards
Valentino Acuzar

Valentino Acuzar


Bataan Balanga, Philippines.


I started as a humble apprentice in Gladstone where I completed my apprenticeship in a fine-dining French Restaurant, learning various techniques of gourmet cooking and gastronomical cuisines.

Then, I travelled to Brisbane to further my career as a Commis Chef working in cafes, restaurants and hotels. By the end of the 90s, I got married and had two adorable kids focusing on parenthood. 

The family decided to purchase the Coffee Club at Southside of Brisbane, here is where I started to manage a small business as a Chef owner/operator working with the family.

As our business expanded, we then purchased a buffet restaurant at the Grange suburb northside of Brisbane City ‘Club 83’, after several years of operating and creating a well-established business, the family decided to sell up and enjoy the profits.
As my passion for food developed, I decided to work in sports clubs, hotels, upmarket restaurants and cafés to define and understand different types of food business operations.

My drive and passion for food became more apparent at this stage of my life seeking for challenging senior roles into the large-scale kitchen operations. 

In the early years of 2000, my experiences were put to the test, it’s here where I began to understand and excelled in the financials, menu development, marketing and training of young apprentices in the hospitality industry.

As I got older and wiser, I began to outsource my work into consultancy to help businesses that were seeking a solution to their business. I am fortunate today to be able to have the opportunity to share my expertise with my clients and for them to value my credentials, experience and business ethics.  

In 2023, I then joined the Medley’s Restaurant team. At Medley’s, I envisioned the opportunity to put forward my ideas and love for food. 

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
It was hard at the beginning because of the hours involved in the hospitality Industry. But when I realised, the hard work and dedication of being a Chef it became part of me.

How would you define your style? 

My style is very simple or should I say I am the ‘old school style’ adapting to the modern generation of fashion. 

What is your feature flavour these days? 

I love modern European mixing it up with contemporary Asian cuisine.

Obsessive-compulsive about?
Plating, process, costing, training and cleanliness.

Your greatest culinary influence: 

To lead the apprentices whom, I have trained and now are the best they can be in the food industry.

What do you love about this business? 

The challenges that lie ahead, the food business is a roller coaster.

An ingredient you can’t live without? 

Salt and pepper, the key components to every meal.

Signature dish:

Black sesame and roasted seaweed salmon with wakame in a rice noodle sphere, with fried edamame beans and miso butter crème.

What can diners expect when they eat at your restaurant and what makes the experience special?

To start, we have the most beautiful set up overlooking the river, excellent service and quality food.

What is your go-to meal at home when you don’t feel like cooking?
For me is the traditional chicken adobo as my heritage is a proud of Filipino.

Tell us something no one knows about you?

I am an introvert and very shy.