When I was ten, my family moved south to Perth, where my brother and I went to school. On finishing, I got a job on Rottnest Island for the summer. I loved it so much (sun, surf, girls, etc.) that I got a job in the kitchen of the Rottnest Restaurant as a kitchen hand. This was the perfect job scenario, that is, surf-work-pub. There was great camaraderie among the chefs and I found I had a talent in the cooking department. I thought I should get an apprenticeship and abandoned my plans of attending teacher training college. A couple of interviews later, I was working in a busy Nedlands fish restaurant called Jojo’s doing about eighty hours a week (the honeymoon was over) and loving it.
After qualifying as a chef, I was promoted to Sous Chef at Jessica’s Seafood Restaurant in Perth, but felt the need to spread my wings, so I headed to Sydney. I managed to secure a position as a chef de Partie at a new restaurant called Goodfella’s, in the inner west suburb of Newtown. I was shortly promoted to a Sous Chef. In 1993, the restaurant was awarded the Best New restaurant Award by The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.