Who is The Wild Chef?
A recipe has no soul, YOU as the chef must bring soul to the recipe!
Welcome to my page. Here I’m going to try and portray my passion for food and adventures and hopefully help you conjour something new and exciting!
I have been a professional chef now for around 10 years, and in that what seems like a very fast time-slot; I have worked with some amazing people, seen some awesome things and most of all I have learnt priceless skills in my chosen trade as a chef.
April 2004 – I quit my job as a building labourer, and head to UCOL Palmerston North for my shot at the hospitality industry, something i knew nothing about, not knowing that what i was about to embark on would change my life and the way i think forever.
I had amazing lecturers, people i will never forget, people who i believe have made a positive impact on the person i am today – no doubt about it. “Attitude” was everything, and if you didn’t have the passion you simply wouldn’t last, the hours, the workload, constant standing on your feet on those hard concrete floors, late nights, and mental strain would simply chew you up and spit you out on the street unless you have that drive & burning passion to carry on. It was that same passion that led me to my first job as a proud qualified chef!
I will never forget my first job in a commercial kitchen, a small family run business in Feilding – Essence Cafe. This place was the local central from all things freshly baked bread, muffins, scones, a full cabinet of tasty treats to full Al a carte dinner menu. I loved it, and i think at that time i had no car so i would commute by bicycle each day with pure excitement of what knowledge my head chef would spare me. I quickly learnt the basics – poaching eggs, cooking steaks, simple stocks & sauces and the dreaded fryer section.
After a few years and feeling like I learnt what I could i decided to move to the sunny Hawkes Bay. Boy this place was cool, it was fresh, there’s beach everywhere, that smell of salty air as you drive around the pier, the winery’s and the night-life – I could see the opportunities ahead!
I had worked around an array of places over the 4-5 years in the Bay, from cafes, winerys, catering company’s, seafood restaurants and even some cooking shows at the Wild food festival – “Kai In The Bay”. My good friend Chef Damian Peeti introduced me to the national culinary fare and we competed in Auckland representing Hawkes Bay – It was tonnes of fun!!
2012 – I was given a chance of a lifetime to open my own Cafe! Its every chefs dream and i had spent countless sleepless nights and the help of many others; running errands, setting up meetings, creating logos, and cycling ideas and methods constantly in my head. It was all so exciting i had a plan in focus, i had a goal i knew what i wanted to do so we did it and “Thyme Cafe” was born. I had worked at the venue before hand as “BJ’s Cafe” so I had a fair idea of how the place had run and functioned. I had a great team and at our peak we were doing breakfast/brunch, lunch and small plates for the dinner menu with a full alcoholic beverage menu. In our first year we were runner up the the 2012 Hawkes Bay signature dish awards – what a proud moment! As a chef this took a huge toll on my motivation & drive levels working 6 days and after 2 years of successful business my lease was up for renewal so after careful consideration It was in my best interest to pull the pin on my dream as a small business owner.
I now live in Hawkes Bay where i work as a private chef at a luxury trophy hunting lodge ‘Kaweka Hunting’ where i cook with mainly wild game. And also Brisbane, Australia where i was previously Head Chef at one of the busiest places in the food mecca ‘Southbank’. My lifestyle now allows me to travel lots, and meet extraordinary people, i take a more casual approach to my career with my new passion travelling the world – Cooking. I love to spend time with my family and friends, photography and tinkering under my car in the shed.
Every day i try to learn something new, weather its small or big you can never know everything. So with that being said, i hope i can teach you something here in my blog ‘The Wild Chef’ feel free to leave a comment or inspiring quote for our readers. Thanks for visiting!