How did you become a chef?
I became a chef because I like eating, it’s as simple as that. I sort of fell into cooking as university didn’t appeal and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. But I really enjoyed being in the kitchen so it all started with making pizza in a local restaurant in Perth. My passion for cooking really started probably at Tetsuya’s when you see the level & skill that you can achieve. You really get driven by the people around you, the environment to produce top quality food. When you’re doing good things, you become proud and passionate about what you are doing.
A piece advice for a younger version of yourself?
Eat more, work harder and read a lot more. I thought I worked relatively hard but the fact is the more time you spend in a kitchen or in a restaurant the more you learn and the more you see. You don’t learn or see those things by not being in a kitchen or a restaurant
Some advice for young chefs?
If you are staging, to read books about philosophy or cook books about where they go into details about what they thought about, what they like what they did in their spare time it gives you an insight into the way they thought about and approached food. if you’re reading this books you’re going to get a lot more about how to structure the way you want your restaurant or run your kitchen or the food that you want to create.
Why did you become involved and what are you looking for as a judge this year?
It’s important to give back to the [hospitality] community and the next generation of people that might want to open restaurants. What really excited me about last year was the chefs really wanted to be there and show of the skills that they had.
This year at the national & final cook off, I’m looking for young chefs that have drive, motivation, knowledge, skills and a good attitude. Not necessarily fine dining skills, but knowing what to do with different produce.
Some tips for the chefs?
Calm down, take a bit of time to plan & think about what you want to produce & what you need to produce and then do it better than anyone else.