History: I came to Sydney to surf and travel. After six months, my money ran out so I headed straight into the kitchen. I worked my way up from cafes and bistros around Sydney to working within restaurants. I then moved into working at hotels and reached the position of executive sous chef. In my limited free time, I started running cooking workshops and really fell in love with teaching others about all aspects of food, cooking methods and presentation.
As a result of my workshop success I started teaching commercial cookery, working for TAFE Ryde and then Ultimo. At the same time, I got involved with the NSW Chapter of the Australian Culinary Federation.
At 2005 I opened Zigi’s Personal Chef Services, which encompasses a cooking school and bringing the restaurant to people's homes.
During my years as a chef, I have conducted and assisted many apprentices to create their own style and flair through many Australian apprentice competitions, such as Salon Culinaire, and assessing for La Cordon Bleu and Nestle Golden Chef Hat Competitions.
Have you always wanted to be a chef?
No - I got into the industry by accident, but am loving it.
How would you define your style?
Fusion. I let the fresh ingredients talk by themselves, along with the harmony of them being mixed together.
What is your feature flavour these days?
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences?
What do you love about this business?
Everything from teaching to working on the stove, from pumping service to the enjoyable beer after work. But what's more important is the team. They are a special kind of people…people that work hard and from the heart!
An ingredient you can't live without?
Salt. It can be put in basically everything. Its extracted flavours are even in chocolate!
Signature dish: Aromatic poached blue eye with carrot smear, beetroot pine nut cigar, pickled radish and citrus emulsion