my insider’s guide to eating/drinking – aaron ward

Ever wondered where those in the biz head to for great eating and drinking? We’re often asked so we asked our #youngexcellence for the lowdown and the insider’s guide to eating/drinking….Sydney with Aaron Ward, sous chef at sixpenny, Stanmore.

Favourite places for breakfast and brunch?

Four ate Five in Surry Hills. It’s a busy little cafe on Crown Street. The salmon bagel is delicious and something I usually order. St Jude in Redfern is just around the corner from my house so it’s easy for a quick breakfast, the avocado smash with poached eggs is something light and delicious. Bourke St Bakery, Surry Hills – again just around the corner, if you miss the lines of the early morning rush it’s a great place to get a pastry or a tart.

Favourite restaurants in your home state for special occasions?

LuMi in Pyrmont. I love spending a Sunday night at LuMi, watching the sun set over the harbour is magic. The food is always delicious and the staff are amazing. Ester in Chippendale. If I ever have a Sunday day off I love going to Ester for lunch, I can sit there all afternoon with a couple of wines and graze on the food they cook. It really is delicious. LP’s Quality Meats in Chippendale. I usually go to LP’s with a few friends, this way we get to try more of the food. I have never walked out of LP’s hungry as there’s always dishes on the menu I want to eat.

Best bars to head to after work and on your days off?

Shady Pines in Darlinghurst. Walking downstairs into Shady Pines is like walking into another world. I go here for a few late night drinks, their style there is nowhere like it in Sydney. The Dolphin Hotel in Surry hills. After the new refurbish of the Dolphin I have been a few times already, it’s a good place for a beer or a wine and some delicious Italian food. Salisbury Hotel in Stanmore. This is the local pub near Sixpenny, so we will usually head down the road for a beer after work.

Where do you go for fresh, seasonal produce and market bargains?

I go to the Flemington Markets in Sydney every week for our fruit and vegetables. It is a good way to see what produce is coming in to season and what is at its peak. Also it is good way to meet the producers and the farmers that grow the fruits and vegetables and get an insider’s view on how they are produced and where they come from.

Where have you had the best interstate dining experiences?

I visited the Hunter Valley a few weeks ago and dined at Muse Restaurant, it was one of the best experiences I have had. The dining room is beautiful and the food is just as good. The staff made me feel welcome as if I was part of their family. To have a restaurant like Muse only 2 hours outside of Sydney the valley is a must visit.

See where else our #youngexcellence alumni go to in ACTNSWNTQLDSATASVICWA

the insider’s guide to eating/drinking central coast with cameron cansdell

Ever wondered where those in the biz head to for great eating and drinking? We’re often asked so we asked our #youngexcellence for the lowdown and the insider’s guide to eating/drinking….Avoca with Cameron Cansdell chef/owner of Bombini restaurant in Avoca.

Where do you go for coffee before work/after work/not at work?

I have two places, Likeminds in Avoca or Loo Loo’s Coffee Shack in Macmasters Beach.

Favourite places for breakfast and brunch?

Bambini Trust on Elizabeth St, Sydney. They do a great coffee, omelette and a glass of champagne for breakfast, whenever I stay in the city I make it a must to drop by there.

Favourite restaurants in your home state for special occasions?

For a special occasion Biota in Bowral, chef/owner James Viles for his creative and inspiring food. Or Ormeggio at The Spit in Mosman, delivers modern Italian food by Alessandro Pavoni.

Best bars to head to after work and on your days off?

On the Central coast, Pocket Bar Terrigal for a great Negroni or the bar at Bells Killcare do a very good Espresso Martini

Where do you go for fresh, seasonal produce and market bargains?

Locally I grab fresh locally caught seafood from Fisherman’s Wharf in Woy Woy or fresh crayfish from Seacoast Fishing in Macmasters Beach. When in Sydney, I often stop by the Fish Markets, Franks Fruit Market in Haberfield for some interesting finds and Victor Churchill butcher for great meat.

Where have you had the best interstate dining experiences?

Cumulus on Flinders lane in Melbourne is great time and time again. I like to sit at the kitchen bar and order small dishes. They do great charcuterie & oysters. Their wine list is also extensive and with a very interesting selection.

See where else our #youngexcellence alumni go to in ACTNSWNTQLDSATASVICWA

the insider’s guide to eating/drinking in the yarra valley with kelvin shaw

Ever wondered where those in the biz head to for great eating/drinking? We’re often asked so we headed to our #youngexcellence for the lowdown and the insider’s guide to eating/drinking around the Yarra Valley with chef/owner of Altair Restaurant Kelvin Shaw.

Where do you go for coffee before work/after work/not at work?

If it’s a work day Round Bird Can’t Fly in Lilydale is definitely my favourite coffee stop, it’s a great spot to grab a bite as well. If it’s a day off I don’t mind travelling for coffee and you can’t beat One Origin on Glenferrie Road in Malvern, Alan Chan makes arguably the best coffee in Melbourne, his blends and attention to detail is second to none.

Favourite places for breakfast and brunch?

After a long week I love a lazy late morning breakfast, locally my favourites are Little Drop of Poison in Eltham, a small café with amazing character. The food packs a punch with big flavours and their list of craft beers and natural wine is brilliant. Leaf & Vine in Ringwood, is another local favourite, hidden away but always bustling with people, Pete & Bec have created something very special. If on a brunch road trip I’m forever trying to find an excuse to get to Spotswood and The Duchess of Spotswood Cafe, ‘Pork Jowl, Truffle & Eggs’ need I say more?

Favourite restaurants in your home state for special occasions?

Living just outside of Melbourne I am absolutely spoilt for choice, Amaru in Northcote has become a favourite there approach to using native ingredients is fascinating and flavour combinations are brilliant. IDES in Collingwood is another that offers something totally innovative an amazing culinary adventure, Peter Gunn really provides something special.

Best bars to head to after work and on your days off?

For after work drinks it’s hard to beat Siglo Bar the wine list is amazing and the view from the roof sensational, Siglo has an amazing vibe and is open to late. Other city favourites include Whisky & Alement and Bar Americano both provide high standard drinks and service and unbeatable atmospheres. Go Go Bar is another of Melbourne’s late night watering holes and with food offerings from Chin Chin’s bar menu available it’s hard to resist.

Where do you go for fresh, seasonal produce and market bargains?

I love a trip to Springvale for the fresh produce on offer is always amazing and with such a range of South East Asian ingredients every trip is a learning experience. The Queen Vic Markets is another favourite spot, whether it be meat, seafood, fruit & veg or smallgoods, there is always so much to explore not to forget a quick stop into books for cooks on the way home. Since its new facelift the Warrandyte Riverside Market held the 1st Saturday of the month has some great produce offerings on hand and on the banks of the Yarra River it is hard to pass up.

Where have you had the best interstate dining experiences?

The Sydney dining scene has provided many memorable meals The Bentley Bar & Monopole are personal favourites, Brent Savage has a unique style that continuously leaves you craving your next visit. While in Tasmania, Stillwater in Launceston has such a well-rounded setup amazing food, service and atmosphere, a truly memorable dining experience. And on our many trips to the Barossa we can’t visit without stopping into Appellation at the Louise.

the insider’s guide to eating/drinking in Canberra

Ever wondered where those in the biz head to for great eating and drinking? We’re often asked so we headed to our  #youngexcellence almuni for the lowdown and the insider’s guide to eating/drinking….Canberra with AKIBA & Sages Andy Day.

Where do you go for coffee before work/after work/not at work?

We’re spoilt for choice in Canberra with great local roasters. Right in the centre of Canberra is Coffee Lab, run by ONA Coffee, which is my favourite spot for a pre-work coffee. A bit further afield and a crazy-busy weekend favourite is Redbrick Espresso in Curtin who also do great food, and Highgate Lane in Kingston put their roaster on full display so is a fun and busy spot with great service.

Favourite places for breakfast and brunch?

Brunch is kind of my thing because I’m probably at work for most of my other meals! My fiancée and I really like the food at TwoforJoy in Kingston, it’s always changing and is really creative and generous. Likewise at The Cupping Room, I’m a sucker for Central American food and their dishes are always on point.

Favourite restaurants in your home state for special occasions?

Canberra punches well above its weight for fine diners and good places for that special time. I love Pod food out at Pialligo; it’s charming, seasonal, has a great wine list and Brent leads a crack team of service professionals. Brunch at Pod is about as fine-dining as brunch can get and it is spectacular.

I also love the dinner experience at Courgette in the centre of Canberra and it’s the go-to for birthdays and anniversaries. The wine list makes celebrating easy!

Best bars to head to after work and on your days off?

A number of small bars have popped up in Canberra over the past few years and getting a glass of something interesting is easy and always relaxing. My new favourite is Vincent, in Barton, which has a daily list of wines – almost all by the glass – that always has something I haven’t tried before. The fun vibe and scrabble-pieces menu is light entertainment to match. Also good for a glass of wine and a snack in the afternoon is Parlour Wine Room in New Acton with a beautiful vintage fitout and sunny terrace is super relaxing. A big nod to local producers and a crafty cocktail list make it a good Sunday afternoon. For an after work beverage the best place for me is Monster. A great wine list, an extremely good negroni, and a kitchen closing at 1am means I can get a second dinner in if I want in the comfort of a fireplace and either my thoughts, good company, or choice banter from the service team.

Where do you go for fresh, seasonal produce and market bargains?

Canberra’s Saturday morning farmers markets at the showground is a highlight of the city. Producers come from all over NSW and Victoria bringing great quality, fresh produce. The markets are separated into those who sell, and those who grow and sell, so if you’re mad keen on knowing the origin of your food you can ask the person selling it to you and they can tell you when they plucked it from the farm. To me that’s the best.

Also good and certainly if your stocks from Saturday run low there are the Fyshwick fresh food markets which house most of Canberra’s fruit & veg suppliers, butchers and fishmongers, so getting quality produce is always easy there. If it means I have to walk via Plonk, one of the country’s best boutique bottle shops, as I shop then so be it!

Where have you had the best interstate dining experiences?

It’s tough to choose between Cutler & Co in Melbourne and The Bridge Room in Sydney. The first time I went to Cutler & Co there were at least three dishes that made the hairs on my neck stand on end, while the service was impeccable and fit-out so comfortable and classy at the same time. I felt so looked after and just shell-shocked by how good a place they had created.

Meanwhile my first, second and third experiences at the Bridge Room took place within a fortnight. I loved it so much on my first mission (a solo birthday lunch) that I rebooked for later that week for my management team and then the week after with my family. When a venue gets everything in harmony like they do its addictive and hard to keep away!

 

Floriade 2016 runs from 17-Sept to 16-Oct 2016. You can check out the full program here

See where else our #youngexcellence alumni go to in ACTNSWNTQLDSATASVICWA

eat/drink south australia with Dan Moss

Where do you go for coffee before work/after work/not at work?

Abbots and Kinney on Pirie St in Adelaide is the best going around.  They have delish pastries and ripping coffee.  Jonny Pisanelli is a young man doing all the right things.  Lucia’s in the Central Markets in South Australia offers a traditional Italian approach, great for people watching.  It is high energy, just the spot before hitting the markets in the morning.  Bar 9 in Central South Australia is a great atmosphere, service and fit out.  Tempting hangover food offerings also.

Favourite places for breakfast and brunch?

Zest Café always has something interesting and is in a great location.  It is a must when down the Bay.  Bar 9 in Parkside is the complete Café package.  Coffee nerd hot spot and really good grub on offer too.  West Beach Surf Club offers breakfast on a Sunday morning with a fresh smoothie, watching the waves roll in – very relaxing environment.

Favourite restaurants in your home state for special occasions?

Penfolds Magill Estate in South Australia has innovation in one of the smartest dining rooms.  It is a South Australian icon.  Africola in Adelaide is an exciting place to eat and drink.  There is brilliant staff and a fantastic concept – a must.  Peel St in the middle of Adelaide CBD has a constantly changing menu executed well, wine you want to drink now and a great fit out.

Best bars to head to after work and on your days off?

Super drinkable cocktails & boutique beers at the Clever Little Tailor in South Australia is a hot spot and rightfully so.  Seed Wine House + Kitchen in South Australia offers moreish bar snacks, great options by the glass and the best bar in the Valley.  The Exeter in South Australia is one of the best pints in town.  With a constantly changing wine list, there is no fuss fun in the Rundle street sun.

Where do you go for fresh, seasonal produce and market bargains?

Adelaide Central Markets is literal food heaven with everything on offer, a real treat and very lucky to have in Adelaide.  Barossa Farmers Market is the best regional market in the state, beautiful setting, producers that care and love their products.  Sevenhill Producers Market is small but warming market in the Clare Valley.  Check out Doug Slugget’s stall for the good stuff.

Where have you had the best interstate dining experiences?

Ethos is my favourite spot in Tassie.  Cutting edge operation offering the best that the Apple Isle has to offer, knowledgeable staff that are really good at their job, with food to match.  Chin Chin in Melbourne is just an absolute cracker of a setup, warming space that you just want to eat at all day long.  Leave it in the staff’s hands and go the ‘Feed me’ option… best way to tackle the Melbourne CBD.  El Publico in Perth is a tequila bar, with super tasty food to share with friends in a buzzing atmosphere, in the best part of town. What’s not to love about El Publico?

 

robert luo – eat/drink sydney

Robert Luo treads the boards at Newtowns’ Oscillate Wildly .Here are Robs’ top recommendations for the best local eating & drinking in Sydney!

Where do you go for coffee before work/after work/not at work?

Coffee Alchemy is one of the best coffee roasteries hiding in the industrial side of Marrickville. From single origin to house blend, there is always something for everyone, especially the serious coffee drinker.  The Workshop, located in the heart of Sydney, is definitely one of the best coffee shops you can find in the city. Perfect for morning pick-me ups.  Located just outside the city in Newtown, T-Totaler  is an unusual place to get a caffeine fix. It is a teashop, tea bar or just an oasis in the Newtown.  Do check out their  ‘cocktail’ that is made with tea as well as the tea and cake degustation.

Favourite places for breakfast and brunch?

The Henson Park Hotel in Marrickville is a family and dog friendly pub that serves great value and high quality food. Not to mention the delicious selections of beers and spirits.  Also located in Marrickville, the Marrickville Pork Roll is an icon in the Sydney food scene, must try!  The long established Malaysian hawker-style eatery, Malay-Chinese Takeaway, is famous for its laksa soup. Get in early to avoid the lunch crowd.

Favourite Sydney restaurants for special occasions?

Modern Japanese restaurant takes on Japanese Izakaya. Cho Cho San in Potts Point offers food that is simple but packed with flavour. The restaurant boasts one of the most comprehensive Sake selections in town.  Porteno in Surry Hills is definitely worth the line-up.  The wait is worth it, Porteno offering some of the best Argentinean barbecue available. Quick tip is to get there before 6pm, as they don’t take bookings for small groups.  In the city, Rockpool est. 1989 is the best example of East Meets West.  Classic Asian flavours combined with European cooking techniques. The restaurant itself is stunning and elegant.

Best bars to head to after work and on your days off?

The Baxter Inn is the best place in Sydney to explore whisky from around the globe.  Eau de Vie in Darlinghurst offers mind blowing cocktails paired with a great atmosphere.  Also in Darlinghurst, Love, Tilly Devine is a wine bar that offers a great selection of wine by the glass.

Where do you go for fresh, seasonal produce and market bargains?

The Marrickville Organic Food and Farmers Market has a good range of food stalls as well as fresh food and vegetable. It also has a great sense of community.  Flemington’s Paddy’s Markets is the hub for Sydney hospitality fruit and vegetable supply and is a great place to meet the farmers and suppliers.  The Olympic Continental Delicatessen & Butchery in Bankstown is a Greek deli that has been operated for over 60 years. Very traditional deli with a great range of products. All small goods are produced in house.

And finally, where have you had the best interstate dining experiences?

Vue de Monde in Melbourne is a creative and interactive dining experience.  It also offers a stunning view of the Melbourne city.  Also in Melbourne is MoVida, a small cosy restaurant that serves up some delicious tapas. It is a great place to refuel after exploring some of the best street art in Melbourne.  Brae in regional Victoria is a must! Away from the city buzz, relax and enjoy one of the best culinary journeys  guided by chef Dan Hunter and his team. It is definitely worth the drive.

See where else to eat & drink around the country:
ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA

 

 

 

Courtney Nichols – eat/drink brisbane

Courtney Nichols, restaurant supervisor at The Balfour Kitchen in Brisbane shares her favourite places for great eat/drink experiences in her home state of Queensland!

Where do you go for coffee before work/after work/not at work?

Coffee is always great at the Three Little Monkeys in West End.  This place is deceivingly huge with so many different options for seating.   The Emporium Barber inFortitude Valley boasts amazing tasting coffee, quick service and quirky staff.  Plus what a unique idea, having it combined with a barber!  Elements Sunshine Coast is great for high tea and has a beautiful view.

Favourite places for breakfast and brunch?

Avalanche in Fortitude Valley has fresh, healthy, natural foods and a team that are always so accommodating and friendly.   Chop Chop Changs in West End offers fresh food which is full of flavour.  The Little Larder in New Farm has friendly staff, innovative food and a resident chicken called Pumpkin that the chef comes out to feed with the leftovers!

Favourite restaurants in your home state for special occasions?

The design of flavours and textures behind every dish of Cams at The Long Apron in Montville is so interesting and the option to have perfectly matched wines is a bonus.  Gerard’s Bistro in New Farm is great for dining in groups so make use of the share plate options.  At the Lilly Pad in Cairns, the menu is innovative, the food is always fresh and staff are quirky and friendly.

Best bars to head to after work and on your days off?

The Elixir in Brisbane has a great atmosphere, rooftop bar with mini gazebos and greenery with fairy lights wrapped through.  Bar tenders are really knowledgeable and always stock great products.  Papa Jacks offers tasty cocktails.  They make all their own spices and syrups to use in them.  I also would head to Cloudland, purely because this venue is an absolute work of art.

Where do you go for fresh, seasonal produce and market bargains?

Eat Street Markets has a funky atmosphere and wide selection of quirky snacks to try.  Newfarm Markets is great if you are after fresh produce.  Eumundi Markets boasts beautiful produce and food to try, especially the frozen mango cups on a hot day!

And finally, where have you had the best interstate dining experiences?

Zanzibar Kingscliff has a funky vibe and friendly staff.  Everything is made fresh and the flavours are zippy!  The Thievery in NSW has a quirky setting with personable staff and innovative food.  Mr Wong also in Sydney offers classic Chinese cuisine with a modern twist.

See where else to eat & drink around the country:
ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA

 

Elizabeth Thomas – eat/drink Melbourne

Elizabeth Thomas – supervisor at Supernormal gives us the lowdown on where she likes to eat/drink in Melbourne.

 

Where do you go for coffee before work/after work/not at work?

Dukes Coffee Roasters is my one-stop coffee shop on the way to work. No matter how busy they get they always produce a great quality coffee. Commonfolk Coffee Roasters in Mornington as the cold drip and pour over are worth the drive from the city and while you’re enjoying your coffee check out the local artists that share the space. Industry Beans Fitzroy. The team here will lead you through different brewing methods, roasting, the different flavours of different origins and you will leave enthusiastic about coffee.

Favourite places for breakfast and brunch or sweet treats?

Rustica Fitzroy because the closest match I’ve found to a real Portuguese tart is made at Rustica. The staff are welcoming and the menu inspires you to try a breakfast that may be outside your comfort zone that you won’t regret. Dee’s Kitchen Dromana. With that city buzz and the fact it is by the beach I get the best of both worlds. Friendly staff and a talented kitchen team whipping up great middle-eastern inspired dishes. Giddiup in South Melbourne is my favourite trendy local cafe that is great for breakky and lunch or grabbing one of their delicious house-made sandwiches or a wholesome salad and coffee on the go.

Favourite Melbourne restaurants for special occasions?

Cumulus Inc. and Cumulus Up – Although you may say this is my biased opinion, I would still count Cumulus as one of my top 3. It is a restaurant that is based on fresh produce and dishes inspired by talented chefs and knowledgeable and friendly staff who will always provide you with the full experience. It is also the restaurant that got me excited about working in the Melbourne restaurant scene. Tipo 00 the one Italian restaurant in Melbourne that I think truly represents Italian cuisine with a modern twist and takes me back to my travels around Italy. The stinging nettle risotto and rabbit pappardelle are a must. MoVida has amazing Spanish tapas and if you’re waiting for a table they have MoVida Next Door where the team will set you up with a drink and a snack while you wait.

Best bars to head to after work and on your days off?

Gin Palace – the knowledgeable staff can help steer you through a vast selection of gin (my spirit of choice) to match your tastes or introduce you to something new and then top it off with one of their famous chicken sandwiches you won’t forget. It is a great bar for people in the industry to amalgamate after those busy late night shifts. The City Wine Shop – let the staff talk about wine with you, purchase a bottle and take it home or enjoy it with a charcuterie board and if you have time make sure you visit the cheese cave. Lily Blacks is a hidden laneway gem where you can have the perfect cocktail tailored to your taste and you’re always likely to run into a friendly face once all of the restaurants around Melbourne close.

Where do you go for fresh seasonal produce and market bargains?

Spring Street Grocer for the fresh fruit and vegetables, delicious take home meals if I don’t feel like cooking but most of all the cheese cave downstairs is a must visit. South Melbourne Market. This market is a foodie’s heaven. While you are weaving your way through the fresh produce and different flavours and cuisines make sure you take a break and grab a freshly shucked oyster from one of the seafood stalls and Prahran Market in South Yarra. Like South Melbourne market, Prahran Market sources the best produce to add to your dishes but as a bonus you will also find The Essential Ingredient.

Where have you had the best interstate dining experiences?

Bentley in Sydney. Brent Savage has definitely given me one of my best dining experiences in Sydney with every dish leaving me asking “how did he come up with that?”. Worth the travel up to Sydney. Cafe Paci before it closed had a fantastic set menu with little twists and the sommelier tailored a great selection of beverages to match. I was happy for Café Paci to do all the work and I just sit back and enjoy the experience and Momofuko Seiobo in Pyrmont is a  food-lovers dream. If the customer is looking for that sharp and friendly service with dishes that are innovative and created to perfection then this is the place.

 

See where else to eat & drink around the country:

ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA

Matt Dempsey young chef to restaurateur

by Lilani Goonesena

Young Chef of the Year 2009 and Young Restaurateur National Finalist 2014 – Matt Dempsey  was Executive Chef at Pettavel Winery when he entered the Appetite for Excellence Young Chef program in 2009.

“I entered because the prizes looked really cool,” he says with a laugh. “I thought I’d have a go, just as a chance to learn. And it was awesome, a real highlight of my professional career.”

Matt won the 2009 Young Chef award and as part of the prize, spent two weeks in the UK at Brett Graham’s two Michelin star restaurant, the Ledbury, in London, and Heston Blumenthal’s three Michelin star Fat Duck in Bray.

Cool prizes indeed.

Three years later though, he was rundown and needed a change.

“After I won in 2009, I left my job at Pettavel for another role in Geelong. But within two years, I was burnt out and had lost all motivation. I didn’t want to drive [from Geelong] to Melbourne everyday to work in a two or three hat restaurant as I had young kids. So, I decided the only way to stay motivated was to open my own restaurant,” he says.

Gladioli opened in late 2011. Matt and his wife Kate chose the small regional town of Inverleigh, 20 minutes west of Geelong, as the site of their new venture.

Three years and two hats later Gladioli has carved out its rung on the ladder and marked Inverleigh as a fine dining destination. In 2013, it was awarded Best New Regional Restaurant in the Age Good Food Awards. Gourmet Traveller ranked Gladioli #5 on its 2015 best regional restaurants and #55 in its 2015 Top 100 Australian restaurants.

In 2013, in the midst of success and hard work, Matt and fellow Pettavel chef, Graham Jefferies, opened Tulip Bar and Restaurant in Geelong. Designed as a casual dining experience with an emphasis on its extensive, all Victorian wine list, Tulip won its first hat in 2015.  “It’s been an awesome three years,” says Matt. “Far better than I could ever have expected.”

In 2014, Matt went through the Appetite for Excellence program again as a Young Restaurateur Finalist.

Matt Dempsey

“I had such a great time the first time round; the produce tour and the networking opportunities were brilliant, so I knew it could only be a positive experience,“ he says. “If I have staff at the right level, I try to encourage them to enter too.”

Finding and managing staff is just one of the issues Matt now has to contend with as a chef-owner, though he finds it a lot easier working for himself than for other people.

“Between managing and working in two businesses, I can combine all the things I liked about some places I’ve worked in and none of the things I didn’t. But the financial anxiety is something I don’t think you can prepare for, and we’re still learning about how to deal with that.

You train to be a chef but with your own restaurant, you also have to understand admin and marketing and finances and those sorts of things,” he says.

There’s also the unexpected element that can throw out the best-laid plans. For example, “we opened Tulip 2 years ago and it’s actually taken a lot of our primary business,” he says. “We’ve had to put a lot of time into how we deal this.”

He admits that trying to chef in all three restaurants, do the paperwork, and spend time with his three kids is not easy. “Time management is what I have to work on,” he says.

Given the hectic pace of his own life, perhaps this is why Matt advocates patience to industry newcomers. “A lot of young chefs come in expecting to become a superstar in a year and it doesn’t work like that,” he says.

“Listen, learn and expose yourself to as much as you can – embrace it as a way of life. I read books, talk to people, and travel. Everything I do has some sort of food relevance; it’s a passion not a skill, I love it.”