Jake Kellie’s European culinary adventure

After being named Electrolux Australian Young Chef 2015, part of Jake Kellie’s prize was a trip to Europe to increase his skills, knowledge and learn more about culinary techniques.  Appetite, Electrolux and Sanpellegrino devised a special trip for him; from visiting one of our judges in Singapore; staging for 3 days at Faviken in Sweden; visiting Electrolux innovation centre in Stockholm; spending 4 days at Italy’s international culinary school ALMA to sampling the delights at Parma.  He’also planned some visits of his own along the way;

10 October 2016

departed Australia for a stopover in Singapore organised by Appetite for Excellence. Whilst in Singapore, I visited one of the judges – Dave Pynt & his restaurant as well as a few other Australian chefs based there. Sam Aisbett @ Whitegrass; Ryan Clift @ Tippling Club and Soren Lascelles – one of the Appetite Alumni – @ Grand Hyatt.

14 October 2016

landed London and quickly caught up with some buds – George Tomlin – another Appetite alumni  chef – @ The Clove Club and a few others before getting on a plane to Denmark

 

24 October 2016: 

heading to Faviken for a 3 day stage organised by Electrolux and Appetite.

 

28 October 2016

landing Stockholm from Ostersund to spend the day @ Electrolux HQ, the innovation centre and the Swedish culinary team’s test kitchen.

 

01 November 2016

arrive in Corlono for 4 days @ ALMA the International centre of education for Italian culinary cuisine.

 

02 – 05 November 2016

a whole lot of training from Italian pasta training session, “The Marchese Code” training with Gualtiero Marchese, Touring the ALMA wine cellar & tasting lesson to Italian pastry.

 

06 November 2016

travel to France

 

10 November 2016

travel home (Australia)

food for thought charity event for beyondblue

SYD Dinner: Mon 14 Nov         MELB Dinner: Mon 21 Nov
7 chefs, 7 courses                    7 chefs, 7 courses
Tickets $155 pp                                                              Tickets $155 pp
SOLD OUT                                                                                BOOK NOW

details of the chefs cooking below this article

Over 3 million Australian’s suffer from the effects of anxiety or depression and is extremely prevalent across all sectors of the hospitality industry. Long, anti-social hours, easy access to drugs and alcohol; highly pressurised work environments coupled with the stigma attached to talking about your mental health concerns are all contributing factors to this worrying statistic. 

‘Mental health is a big, unspoken problem in the hospitality industry. The mentality of kitchens is that if you are not dying then you are not sick, or if you have not broken a leg then you can come to work. Kitchens don’t recognise anyone with mental health issues and those with mental health issues are perceived to be weak and soft because they are not able to “push on”. It’s something that the industry needs to recognise and address collectively,’ Thi Le chef/owner of Anchovy restaurant in Richmond, Melbourne.

A recent article, We Need to Talk About Mental Health in the Kitchen by Tim McKirdy on Vice Magazine’s Munchies website indicates that it’s chefs who are the most affected in the industry, after the death of ‘the best chef in the world’, Benoit Violier, back in February 2016 again highlighted the issue. This week prominent American chef Daniel Patterson wrote an open letter Speaking Out, to MAD, about his struggle over with depression over the years and his recent diagnosis. He concludes his letter by saying ‘And what’s really going to happen if I say publicly that I had some screwy brain chemistry and I took care of it? Will people stop coming to my restaurants?’ Socially, speaking about mental health and your own mental health has never been easy, especially in an environment where you are expected to ‘handle’ the tough working conditions, because this is what you signed up for when choosing the hospo life.

In Australia only 35% of people affected seek help from beyondblue, an Australian organisation that was established in 2000focusing on raising awareness of depression and reducing the associated stigma. Food for Thought founder and young chef Mal Meiers says For me, I know how important it is that we break down the stigma surrounding mental health, many people suffer often in silence or isolation, with the help of some great young chefs Food for Thought is about raising awareness, coming together and taking on this stigma to show there is help’.

Breaking down barriers and giving people in the industry a place to share their thoughts and feelings has come in the form of ‘Chefs with Issues‘ an online forum launched in 2015 by Kat Kinsman editor at large of Tasting Table in America. While based out of the States, the website gives not just to chefs but to all of those involved in the service industry the opportunity to write about their own feelings; read about other people’s experiences while offering resources and support to those who need it.

It was Mal’s own struggle with anxiety and depression and the help he received from beyondblue, that enabled him to start a conversation about his experiences which has been the driving force behind Food for Thought ‘my hope is to help broaden the awareness of the support that is available to not only my peers but to the wider community for all those who suffer in silence’. 

Reaching out to his close friends (& like minded chefs) they came together to develop Food for Thought, a collaborative dinner aimed at raising awareness and funds for and in support of beyondblue. The inaugural dinner with the support of Beer DeLuxe was held at Fed Square in 2014.

Jacob Furst executive chef of Beer DeLuxe said of his involvement & support of Food for Thought, ‘I’ve witnessed mental health first hand in the work place and at home. I believe the work beyondblue do to support people with depression is outstanding, but they excel in equipping everyone with the knowledge and skills to protect their own mental health. Like with any illness, prevention is better than a cure. I can’t think of a better way than to show support than using our skills to create this experience for the very generous guests who attend’. 

In 2016, Mal and his fellow collaborators hope to expand awareness from the initial Melbourne audience by introducing the event into Sydney with a second dinner, one in each city. Headed up by Mal, the chefs will be collaborating on a diverse tasting menu where they will each create a dish to showcase their individual character & creative style whilst working together as a collective. Each dinner will be a 7 course tasting menu with matched beverages by sommelier Kate Christensen, ‘Being involved with such a valuable event like Food for Thought enables you to connect to a cause bigger than yourself. It provides an opportunity to give back; not only time and skills but to use our collective passion for our industry to partake in something that has the potential to invoke real change in the lives of those who suffers most’. 

beyondblue Food for Thought is supported by some of Australia’s leading producers including Flinders Island Lamb, Cape Grim Beef, Ora King Salmon along with Beer Deluxe.

Tickets are available from Lime & Tonic – Sydney & Melbourne and are $150 for a 7 course degustation & matched beverages. All proceeds will be donated directly to beyondblue. 

Melbourne beyondblue Food for Thought Dinner

21 November 2016 19:00 Beer DeLuxe Fed-Square featuring;

Mal Meiers             (Founder/Food + Wine pop up/Electrolux Australian Young Chef National Finalist)

Jake Furst              (Beer DeLuxe)

Peter Gunn            (IDES/San Pellegrino Asia Pacific Young Chef 2015)

Matt Boyle             (Attica)

Stevie Nairn          (ESP – Estelle Scott Pickett)

Thi Lee                    (Anchovy)

Florian Ribul        (HOST)

melb-chefs

Sydney  beyondblue Food for Thought Dinner SOLD OUT

14 November 2016 19:00 Beer DeLuxe King St Wharf featuring;

Mal Meiers         (Founder/Food + Wine pop up/Electrolux Australian Young Chef National Finalist)

Aaron Ward       (Sixpenny/Electrolux Australian Young Chef 2016)

Troy Crisante    (Bennelong/Electrolux Australian Young Chef Runner-up 2016)

Jake Furst          (Beer DeLuxe)

Rhys Connell     (Sepia)

Tae Kyu Lee       (Ex- Quay)

Paul Farag         (Monopole)

Food for Thought Dinners Sydney & Melbourne
Food for Thought Dinners Sydney & Melbourne

About beyondblue

Established in October 2000, beyondblue initially focused on raising awareness of depression and reducing the associated stigma. As our knowledge and impact on people’s lives broadened, through research and community engagement, we added the key issue of anxiety conditions in 2011 and, more recently, suicide prevention to our core purpose.

Despite depression being the leading cause of disability worldwide and predicted to be the leading cause of burden of disease by 2030, ahead of heart disease, few countries had attempted a national response to depression. Other national programs that tried to get the wider community to change their attitudes to mental health were met with limited success.

Head to beyondblue.org.au to find out more about the organisation and for ways you can help/support.

it’s a pigs life at melanda park

Melanda Park by Aaron Ward, George Papaioannou and Kelvin Shaw

From potatoes to pigs, that’s how farmers Matt and Sue Simmons have spent the last 13 years of their lives, on the farm that has been in Sue’s family for almost 100 years. Located in Ebenezer just outside of Sydney, Melanda Park began its life as a citrus farm, before floods; market crashes and ageing orchards gave way to cattle in the latter part of the last century.

In 2003 they started producing certified organic vegetables like potatoes and leafy greens and in keeping with organic farming principles they introduced pigs to the farm as a way to remove the excess waste and vegetables left behind and also to prepare the soil for the next round of planting. It was using these industrious animals to clean up the paddocks that inspired Matt and Sue to actually start breeding free range pigs as well as their organic vegetables.

The pigs are all free range and pasture raised and roam as they please, for 365 days of the year. They’re are able to dig for grubs and potatoes, wallow and interact with other pigs.

The pigs at Melanda Park fatten at a slower rate but have a much more flavoursome meat because of it.

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We were fascinated at the speed of which the pigs grow and at the age they’re able to reproduce. After only 4 weeks a sow is able to give birth (farrow), having up to 10 piglets in a litter. The sows have special hutches designed with straw stoppers to farrow in as the 1 or 2kg piglets need to be protected from natural predators like eagles and foxes as well as their mothers.

When we first walked onto the farm I thought it was just about rearing a pig and sending them off to the abattoir but there is so much more. Matt and Sue constantly have to check the soils, check the PH levels, the hydration levels and continually throw seeds to grow grass, not just for the pigs to graze but to keep the neighbours happy with keeping the dust levels down. Having that strong base in a nutrient rich soil is a fundamental part to being able to rear a pig at such a high standard, as Matt and Sue have accomplished.

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The Simmons have carved a niche in the industry by rearing suckling pigs, averaging a weight of 15-18kg at just 8 weeks old. Through their care and dedication to free range farming and a superior tasting product they have found their way into the Sydney fine dining restaurant scene. Their passion for what they are doing on the farm really shows in the pigs they produce and constant high standard of the farm they work.

At Melanda Park you can hear the wind coming up the valley, no pig squeals, the occasional barking Maltese terrier, but no stress and a relaxed feel. The open fields and paddocks where the pigs graze or lay in the hutches where they farrowed smell clean, like a farm, grassy green with a scent of manure, whipped up with the wind but an expected aroma of a farm.

 

We visited Melanda Park as part of the 2016 National Finalists Produce Tour of NSW.

Appetite for Young Swines Lunch

The Old Clare Hotel and the site of the old Carlton United Brewery seemed a fitting venue for the Sydney leg of the Appetite for Young Swines event – an Appetite for Excellence and PorkStar project to help foster a community of young like-minded hospitality professionals, where they can see; hear & learn from the rising stars of the hospitality industry.

The event kicked off with a welcome cocktail shaken (not stirred) by Gerald Ryan, restaurant manager of Oscillate Wildly in Newtown. Gerald was the Electrolux Australian Young Waiter in 2014 and had carefully selected the beverages to match the dishes our alumni Aaron Ward of sixpenny, Jake Davey of est. & Troy Crisante of Bennelong had collaborated on. Rounding out the team with her ever professional front of house flair was Brooke Adey restaurant manager of The Paddington Inn & Electrolux Young Waiter 2015. A special mention & thanks to Dan from sixpenny who came to help out the lads in the kitchen. You are a superstar!

appetite-for-young-swinesappetite-for-young-swines-troy-crisante

In between the courses and throughout the day we hit each of the Appetite for Young Swines up with some hard hitting questions about the industry; their commitment to hospitality; why collaborations are important for the industry and what advice they would give to a younger version of themselves. 

What inspired you to become a sommelier Gerald & a chef Aaron?

Gerald: My Colleagues. Working in a fine dining restaurant as a food runner as my first proper job in hospitality, and hearing the Sommelier’s talking about wine, using language I’d never heard intrigued me, and I immediately became the pest, asking all of the annoying questions of them, until they pointed me towards a couple of books, and I was away.

Aaron: I have always been interested in food as cliché as it sounds, but I would read recipes as a child and watch the cooking shows on TV. I think the fact that this industry is always changing, with new ingredients, techniques, and equipment being available also interests me. There is never a dull day or moment, it all just depends on how far you want to take it.

What motivates you and inspires you daily?

Gerald: Again, the people I work with. Seeing small business owners constantly at the helm of their operations, steering it in the right way, is motivation enough. Watching Karl Firla and Dan Hunter run their business’ so efficiently, but tirelessly changing menu’s, and market runs at the crack of dawn, all the while balancing restaurant life with a life outside their venues, has been a constant inspiration.

Aaron: Cooking to me is not just about food; it is also about bringing people together and creating a memorable experience. Sitting around a table with family and friends, having the opportunity to cook for them, and the feeling of gratification is something I love. Being able to achieve these same feelings and experiences in a restaurant setting should be what all chefs strive for.  Showing passion and pride in what I cook is always apparent, whether it is for guests in the restaurant, family at home, or a staff meal.

What advice would you give a younger version of yourself?

Gerald: Write notes on what you are tasting!!

Aaron: Travel and experience different cultures and cuisines as much as possible. Go and spend time in different countries of the cuisines that interest you, learn the techniques and how the local chefs are bringing their own modern take on the culinary traditions.

What three pieces of advice would you give anyone considering it as a career?

Gerald:

1. It is the small things that make the big things fall into place. Long hours on your feet can take it out of you. Moving heavy tables, cartons of wine, polishing glasses, all very un-glamorous. But it’s the little things that matter. The final detail of the room, final check of set up, that really make things actually tick.

2. You need to love it. At times, you will hate it, it’s just how it is, but it’s got to be an overriding feeling of satisfaction and love for your job that motivates you. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, find a way to, or do something else!

3. You need to have work – life balance. As is true with anything, but especially with Hospitality, where the hours can tend to lean on the unsociable.

appetite-for-young-swines-gerald-ryanappetite-for-young-swines-aaron-ward

Aaron:

1. Learn as much as you can from as many people as you can. The food industry is ever expanding, finding new experiences and opportunities to develop tastes and techniques. However, knowledge and understanding of the classics are pillars to building a successful and exciting career.

2. Keep your head down and work hard even with the long hours and little sleep, being a chef is a demanding career but if you embrace it, it is very rewarding.

3. Try to have a balanced work life and life outside of work. Having a balanced work/life is essential for mental health and productivity at work.

Do you think collaborations are important for chefs, FOH and the industry and why?

Gerald: I do, I think collaborations help shift every day routine, and challenge both front and back of house to think differently. If just for a once off, or a series of events, you learn how to operate in limited space and in different locations (kitchens, FOH spaces) which only broadens your experience and challenges the way you look at things.

Aaron: Yes, collaborations are very important as a chef.  The opportunity to meet and talk with other chefs about food, learning their different techniques and then bringing them back and putting them in use. Cooking and eating different cuisines give chefs a bigger perspective on how large and diverse the industry really is.

appetite-for-young-swines-brooke-adeyappetite-for-young-swines-chef

How do you think we can inspire people to consider hospitality as a career?

Gerald: I’d like to say starting from the bottom, in school, and not making it seem a job for dropouts, but I understand how unrealistic this is. Honestly, I am unsure, except for constantly putting forward the best face of the industry, and showing how you can have a tangible reward for hard work and effort.

Aaron: The hospitality environment has drastically changed over the last 15 years. A career in hospitality is professionally recognised and accepted and there are many different channels of progression within this career choice which allows for constant expanding of skills and knowledge.  There are also not many careers which allow you to work anywhere in the world, whether being a chef or front of house you will never be out of work.

What do you think needs to change/be done in the industry to keep those within it motivated/inspired to stay?

Gerald: I think the industry has come a long way in the 10 years I have been involved, especially when it comes to motivating people to stay involved. As the industry grows, it falls on the people who have been involved in the industry for a while to nurture the new generation, and I can see that happening in Sydney at the moment, with small groups or individual restaurants expanding, and the teams within those small restaurants teaching the new generation and staff, and again turning that cog of motivation/inspiration.

Aaron: Flexibility with working hours and days – It is a given that as a chef you will miss out on many special occasions and the choice when taking your holidays. Most chefs are accepting of this fact, however, to inspire chefs to stay longer in the industry this may be something to consider especially as a chef grows older and family commitments become a priority.

You can read more from Appetite for Young Swine Brooke & Jake here.

As the lunch progressed the chefs along with Brooke & Gerald were able to speak to the group about their experiences within the hospitality industry; what inspires them in their careers; how the stay motivated; why the beverages were chosen for the dishes and how the dishes were cooked.

The food was amazing; the drinks delicious and the company even more so! Thanks to everyone who came along (and to those who had driven from regional areas especially for the event) and to the team behind the event. You can check out all of the event pics here!

Sign up for our newsletter to find out when our next appetite for young swines event is and to keep up to date with appetite for excellence (don’t worry we won’t bombard you emails…)

spring time is the best time for australian lamb!

lamb breast and brain, silken eggplant, baby cavalo, enoki, ginger black vinegar jus

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Skills needed: Advanced

Serves: 4

ingredients

2 lamb breasts bone in 
500g lamb brains
250g lamb bones
250g chicken wings
1 carrot
2 brown onions
1 Spanish onion
3 bulbs garlic
1 leek
2 bunches thyme
10 bay leaves
10 peppercorns
300g young ginger
2 large purple eggplant (seedless if possible)
400ml milk
2 eggs
100g tempura flour
100g pine nuts

100g rolled quinoa
8 litre lamb stock
200g unsalted butter
1 punnet enoki mushroom
10 eschallots
2 bunches baby cavalo nero (salad kale)
40ml Chinkiang vinegar
20ml Japanese black rice vinegar
250ml dry white wine
2 sticks celery
1 litre vegetable oil
500g salt
30g cooking caramel
1 star anise
50g arrow root
½ bunch green shallots
20ml Korean White sesame oil

method: lamb breast

Preheat pressure cooker and set oven to 180°C. In a large heavy base pot, caramelise onions, carrot, leeks, celery, 2 garlic cloves and 100g ginger. Once coloured, de-glaze with 5 litres of lamb stock and bring to boil. Skim any surface scum with a spoon and add the lamb breast bone in. Carefully transfer to the pressure cooker, season the pressure cooker with peppercorns, 1 bunch thyme and enough salt to ensure the lamb is seasoned all the way through after cooking. Cook on high pressure for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Once the cooking time is complete, carefully release all the pressure. Remove the lid and skim all fat from the surface. Allow the lamb to cool in the liquor until safe enough to handle. Cooling in the liquor will ensure that the lamb remains succulent.

Carefully remove lamb breast from liquor once cooled and remove all bones from the cooked lamb breast (they come out very easily). Cut into approximately 150g portions. Fry the lamb skin side down in hot vegetable oil in a medium sized fry pan. Once skin is crispy, add 2 knobs of butter, a bunch of thyme and 2 bay leaves. Cover with a tight fitting lid and put into oven for 10 minutes.

While the lamb is cooking, you can make and plate the other elements and garnish your plate. 

method: lambs brain

Run brains under cold running water until clear. Remove any brain sinew and cut out the medulla. Cut brains into 2 x 2cm cubes and soak in 200ml milk for 10 minutes. On the stovetop in a medium saucepan, using a thermometer to carefully test the temperature, bring 500ml of oil up to 200°C and hold at that temperature. Finely chop pine nuts and in a large mixing bowl, mix equal amounts of pine nuts and quinoa.

Pane the brains using the tempura flour then into an egg wash and then into the pine nuts and quinoa. Once crumbed, deep fry at 200°C for 30 seconds. Rest on some paper towel until ready to plate.

 method: eggplant

Peel the eggplant and cut into half (length ways) and then into half-moon segments, approx. 2 inches thick. Soak in a brine made from 1 litre water to 100g salt for 15 minutes. 15 minutes before serving, remove from brine and steam in a bamboo steamer on high steam for 5 minutes. Serve 2 half-moons per portion.

method: cavalo nero & enoki mushroom

Cut enoki mushrooms down to 10cm lengths in 2 inch bundles. Caramelise in a hot fry pan, deglaze with butter and remove them allowing them to sit in their cooking juices. Finely slice 1 clove of garlic and sauté in olive oil until golden. Add the baby Cavalo Nero and 50ml lamb stock. Cook down and drain onto paper towel.

method: ginger black vinegar jus

In a large pot, sauté the lamb bones and chicken wings until golden. Add butter, sliced eschallots, 2 cloves garlic, enoki trim, 100g ginger and caramelise. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Add bay leaves and sprig of thyme and 1 whole star anise. Add 2 litres of lamb stock and reduce by 3/4. Thicken with arrow root until you have a jus consistency.

Strain and adjust with black vinegars to your own taste depending on how acidic you prefer your sauce.

method: green shallots

Cut into 5cm baton and fry on high heat in vegetable oil, seasoning slightly with salt.  Dress with white sesame oil just enough to coat.

method: crispy ginger

Preheat a small pot of oil to 170°C. Finely slice ginger on mandolin and fry until golden.

plating up

Divide the plate into three equal sections. Carve each portion of lamb belly into 5cm by 8 cm rectangles, then in half lengthwise. Place lamb in the centre right third of the plate with one piece further then the next. Carve eggplant into half-moons. Place 2 on a 45 degree angle next to lamb. Lay enoki over the eggplant following the natural contour of the half-moon shape. Between eggplants place three little piles of Cavalo Nero. On each side of the eggplant place a nugget of brain keeping in straight alignment with the other garnish. Stand 3 green onion batons up using the eggplant and brain as leverage. On top of each eggplant place a little bit of ginger. Sauce the lamb with 3 tablespoons of sauce.

Chef’s tips

When making stock it’s good to brown the meat and vegetables first.

If you can’t get lamb breast, you can use lamb shoulder or boneless leg.

You can replace lamb stock with chicken stock or vegetable stock.

 

 

La Louisiane Cocktail Recipe with George Papaioannou

George Papaioannou, waiter at Luxembourg in Melbourne describes his service style as approachable, knowledgeable, humble. He also loves a good cocktail & shared his ‘cocktail of the now’ recipe with us along with his predictions for 2017 below.

What do you see trending in Melbourne right now?

Who doesn’t love an Aperol Spritz? Probably still the most wanted drink in Melbourne, especially as summer is just around the corner and our days get longer and our nights get shorter. Refreshing and delicious, it will definitely be on everyone’s mind when the sun starts to shine.

What’s exciting you about 2017?

Melbourne hosting the ‘Olympic Games of Food’ in 2017. The World’s 50 Best is coming down under, and it’s going to feel right at home in Australia’s hospitality mecca, Melbourne.  Restaurants will be buzzing with hospitality folk and respected people within the industry. It’s going to be an exciting time for anyone in Melbourne.

What do you see as the next big thing in 2017?

The next big thing in 2017 could be the return of Gueridon Service. Whereby food is finished and presented at the table. Service that is still casual yet impressive. Filleting fish or Crepes Suzette. Turning the food into a form of entertainment and skill; and bringing an air of sophistication to a casual environment.

What are you ‘crushing on’ this week?

Currently, I do love a good cocktail. Especially a La Louisiane. If it’s starting a meal with one, having one after work or ending a meal with one, it’s a fantastic drink and one for any occasion. There’s a reason I paired it with a dish for the Hunt + Gather Dinner. It’s what I love to drink. A perfect concoction of Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Dom Benedictine, Sweet Vermouth and a dash of bitters. Incredible.

La Louisiane Cocktail Recipe

20ml Woodford Reserve Bourbon

20ml Sweet Vermouth

20ml Dom Benedictine

10ml Absinthe

Peychaud’s Bitters

Method:

1. Chill your coupe glass by filling with ice while you gather all of your ingredients

2. Rinse chilled coupe with Absinthe

2. In a Mixing glass filled with ice; build Bourbon, Vermouth and Dom Benedictine

3. Stir for 10 seconds

4. Double strain into rinsed coupe

5. Garnish with Maraschino cherry & Enjoy!

Why be one when you can be an army championing what is great about our industry?

You know the floor is in good hands when Electrolux Australian Young Waiter 2015 Brooke Adey is in charge!

Brooke along with fellow Appetite alumni Gerald Ryan served up their exceptional service skills at our recent Appetite for Young Swines lunch. The lunch was produced as part of an Appetite for Excellence and PorkStar project to help foster a hospitality community where young professionals can meet others in the industry, be able to ask questions about food, cooking, beverage matching, front of house skills; seek advice and/or tap into a wider peer group.

Before the lunch kicked off we asked Brooke what inspired her to become a waiter; why she thinks it’s important to foster the careers of young people in the industry and the importance of collaboration.

What inspired you to become a waiter?

What inspired me initially was the family of professionals I worked with at Chianti (in Adelaide). Under Maria’s guidance and leadership I fell in love with this industry.

What motivates you and inspires you daily?

On the other hand, what continues to inspire me today is the passionate, young staff and leaders I get to work with every day.

What advice would you give a younger version of yourself?

Be confident and don’t be afraid to take chances and risks.

What three pieces of advice would you give anyone considering it as a career?

1. Just say yes. Take risks, take opportunities, step out of your comfort zone.

2. Always be open to learning, and sharing.

3. Love what you do. That passion is infectious, to the people you work with and the people you serve.

Do you think collaborations are important for chefs, FOH and the industry and why?

Collaborations are integral. Why be one when you can be an army championing what is great about our industry. Plus, you have the opportunity to learn from your peers, tasting new things, learning new techniques.

How do you think we can inspire people to consider hospitality as a career?

As young leaders, we must be ambassadors for our industry. We must work with those in our restaurants and create an environment that nurtures and fosters talent and passion.

What do you think needs to change/be done in the industry to keep those within it motivated/inspired to stay?

It is integral that we create a workplace that encourages creativity and risk taking. Those with an interest in hospitality must be given an opportunity to learn and challenge themselves. Sharing small responsibilities or working with your staff to resolve challenges within the business can show them you have confidence in their abilities.

jake davey and the importance of collaboration

Jake Davey is the head chef at est. restaurant in Sydney and was crowned Electrolux Australian young chef of the year in 2013.

Jake recently collaborated with fellow appetite for excellence alumni at the Appetite for Young Swines Lunch held in Sydney on Monday 26 September. The event was produced as part of an Appetite for Excellence and PorkStar project to help foster a hospitality community where young professionals can meet others in the industry, be able to ask questions about food, cooking, beverage matching, front of house skills; seek advice and/or tap into a wider peer group.

In between courses we hit Jake up with some hard hitting questions about what inspired him to become a chef, how he stays motivated and the importance of collaboration….

What inspired you to become a chef?

My path to cooking came from doing work experience at a family friends restaurant, the atmosphere, tastes, smells and people really attracted me and I haven’t looked back. Early on in my cooking I was exposed to two books (the French laundry cookbook and est est est by Phillipa Sibley and Donovan Cook) which I found incredibly inspiring and led me on the path to the type of cooking I do today.

What motivates and inspires you daily?

Working with passionate hospitality professionals, working with a great produce and suppliers keeps me motivated and inspired, also researching new recipes and techniques keeps me interested and switched on. Travel is also another great source of inspiration for visiting new places and trying new things.

What advice would you give a younger version of yourself?

Work clean, work fast, ask questions.

What 3 pieces of advice would give anyone considering it as a career?

1. Do some work experience, go to a few restaurants and see what it’s all about. It’s one thing to have a love for food and cooking but that doesn’t always translate to a love for cooking as a career. Make sure you love the atmosphere and fall in love with the environment of a professional kitchen.

2. Read cookbooks, practice at home and teach yourself. It seems young cooks want to be taught everything by someone else. More young cooks should be going out of their way to learn on their own.

3. Work clean, work fast, ask questions

Do you think collaborations are important for chefs and the industry and why?

Yes collaborations are important for chefs, they give us an opportunity to exchange ideas, are great for promotion and getting your name out there, as well being great for networking and meeting new people.

How do you think we can inspire people to consider hospitality as a career?

I think we need to work together as an industry to make hospitality as a career more attractive. There needs to be an improvement in working conditions like hours and remuneration. As it stands, young people considering hospitality are discouraged by the working conditions and remuneration.

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