When did you realise you wanted to work in hospitality?
13 years ago when I dropped out of university and got an apprenticeship.
Where and how did you get your start?
In Sydney at a restaurant in Cronulla called The Alley. A small, chef owned restaurant where I got a job as a first year apprentice.
Sum up your current work life in one sentence.
I literally live at work which I think is pretty standard for a restaurant that is only 1 and a half years old.
Who has been really influential on your career and why?
All of the chefs that I’ve worked for have been an influence. Some of have taught me what to do and some have taught me what not to do. Nearly all have been chef-owners so I was lucky to have experienced the reality of running a place, although I truly never understood it until I did it myself. In particular, Jeremy Strode. He gave me so much advice about opening my own place, about the benefits to being independent and also the struggles. He was one of the first people I told the name to, and was always super supportive and enthusiastic.
What’s next for you?
Stay open? Find more staff? Hope it gets easier? I can’t believe we’ve been open for almost a year and half now with most renovations that needed to be done at the beginning, now complete. So now I guess we work on refining what we have created.
What’s your one piece of advice to someone starting out?
If it’s starting out in the industry in general? Work with people that challenge you and travel as much as possible. If it’s opening your own place? Don’t. Not this year.
Where did you last have a great meal?
Are there any openings you are looking forward to?
Not really. I’m not really plugged into what else is going on. I try to stay in my own lane and just focus on what we’re doing and not compare it to others. Having said that I’m super excited for the Anglo Thai With Friends event at The Dairy in May. Two of my good friends Nic Rizzi and Roman Pawar will be pouring wine on two nights.
Where is the most exciting city for hospitality (after London)?
Sydney. Without a doubt. The restaurants back home are so good.
Who would you identify as a rising star?
I’m biased, but my sister. She just left the Bridge Room and has started at Quay, both in Sydney. She was over here in London for a week to help out for our International Women’s Day dinner and she is just so effortless on the floor - amazing charisma, professionalism and guests just love her. But, if it was someone in London, then Nic Rizzi from Modal Wines who’s been importing wines for a few years. He’s one of the most lovely people, and with so many exciting new wines coming in, creates a killer list. He’ll be pouring wines with John of Anglo Thai at the Dairy on May 19th, which I’m super excited about!