1. Why did you decide to become a chef?
From an early age, I cooked with my mother and we’d eat out a lot as a family and experience different foods. This gave me a passion for cooking.
2. How has the reality measured up?
The industry has proven to be a lot bigger and broader than I expected. I learn so much every day and it just keeps getting better.
3. If you weren’t cooking, what would you do for a living?
That’s something I’ve never really considered.
4. What’s your favourite ingredient to cook with? Why?
It’s hard to pick just one ingredient, but I use garlic, onion and herbs as the base of all my dishes because they’re just so versatile.
5. What food trend can't you wait to see the back of?
The gluten free trend is a nightmare. While some people are truly gluten-free, there seem to be many who just do it because it’s trendy and I think their expectations are difficult to cater to.
6. What do you never want to eat again?
Offal of any kind. I recently had lamb’s brain and it reminded me that I just don’t like the texture of offal.
7. What’s your guilty pleasure?
I’m a sucker for a hamburger - if it’s on a menu I have to try it.
8. Most embarrassing cooking moment?
When I was younger, I had just taken a position as a sous chef in a large restaurant. I was putting a large bucket of napoli up on a shelf and upended it all over my head.
9. What's one thing people would never guess about you?
I don’t think many would guess my outlook on the industry. I don’t think this is the type of industry where anyone can walk in and expect a pay cheque. While you may be trained, if you don’t have passion I don’t think you will be successful.
10. If you had one meal, anywhere in the world, what would it be?
The Ramsay Burger at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in Las Vegas. It’s a triple cheeseburger that costs only $16 but is simply the best hamburger I’ve ever had. I’ve tried to recreate it but haven’t been able to match it.
11. What are you most excited about right now?
American style smoked barbecue dishes. I’m right into anything with southern spices right now. We’ve even got a few ribs and burger dishes on our menu at the moment.
12. What is your favourite old school dish?
One of the easiest dishes to make is a carbonara and it always pops up in my menus. The secret to a good carbonara is don’t add too much of anything, keep it simple.
13. What is your favourite dish with leftovers?
It doesn’t matter what is leftover in the fridge, you can make a good hearty pie out of anything.