I began my career within the popular French provincial scene that dominated Brisbane at the time. This experience instilled in me an awareness of a good work ethic, sound culinary skills, a respect for good produce and the importance of the customer at every point.
My experience also led me to realise that, to expand my skills I needed to head overseas. In London I had the opportunity to work in Michelin starred restaurants using techniques completely new and exciting, in an environment bristling with excitement and passion, as food began to step out from the standard, age old expectations and embrace a new set of young chefs breathing new life into the kitchen.
In England I was also able to experience the true meaning of seasonal produce, as autumn became winter and spring became summer, and with the changes came a completely different line of produce.
My restaurant, in the Cotswolds, benefitted from Fresh Salmon caught that morning from the Seven River gleaming and firm, pheasant, venison and countless other game, shot the afternoon before from a local property, vegetables from a friends garden, raspberries from my back garden, mushrooms from local forests, live scallops and langoustine from Scotland and lamb from local farms.
With all this bounty I also learnt the importance of respect for good produce at all stages of preparation and cooking.
Today, the food scene is, once again, an exciting environment is to be involved in with new skills and techniques changing the way we prepare and cook food.
The popularity of the café scene, in particular, is an exciting food format to be involved in at present as it has manifested a culinary freedom, limited only by the expectations of the customers and the skill set of the kitchen.