Things heat up in club kitchen

Chef uses his ex­pe­ri­ence to take din­ing to next level

Maroochy Weekly - - LIFE -

GARETH COLLINS is set to re­de­fine club din­ing and must pro­duce lunch and din­ner to show the land’s best beef prod­ucts for the meat event of the year.

The new Maroochy RSL ex­ec­u­tive chef is not new at all to the celebrity chef scene and is set to work with of some of the culi­nary world’s big­gest names.

This month the chef has headed up the two celebrity res­tau­rants to be held at Beef Aus­tralia in Rock­hamp­ton, where he over­saw a ro­ta­tion of su­per chefs in the kitchen and showed the world how to pre­pare and serve Aus­tralia’s finest beef.

Although he has cooked for Pres­i­dents, rock and film stars, the up­com­ing na­tional expo and one of the world’s big­gest beef cat­tle events was very daunt­ing.

“Beef Aus­tralia has a global au­di­ence and is held only ev­ery four years - this was my sec­ond time lead­ing the celebrity chefs pro­gram and the heat is def­i­nitely on,” he said.

“Pri­or­ity was to show­case what we call sec­ondary cuts of beef.

“The Aus­tralian mar­ket mostly fo­cuses on prime or loin cuts and over­looks sec­ondary or tasty cuts, as they’re prop­erly named. Our brief is to ed­u­cate and en­cour­age ev­ery­one by in­volv­ing th­ese star chefs so that Aus­tralians ap­pre­ci­ate the meat we pro­duce that’s much loved over­seas.”

He has more than 34 years in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, fol­low­ing his train­ing in Wales and world trav­els be­fore set­tling in Aus­tralia.

The chef has led teams for many ac­claimed Queens­land res­tau­rants, in­clud­ing open­ing Ricky’s in Noosa and es­tab­lish­ing it as a din­ing out icon.

He has headed the kitchen at Hy­att Coolum, served as

❝We buy di­rect if we can, keep it lo­cal and keep the money in town so that we all thrive. — Gareth Collins

per­sonal chef to Clive Palmer, and been head chef for Peter Ku­ru­vita at Sher­a­ton Noosa, and the chef co-or­di­na­tor for Noosa Food & Wine Fes­ti­val.

Mr Collins had a vi­sion for his move to Maroochy RSL, to re­fo­cus din­ers on slow­ing down to en­joy ev­ery eat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and set a new bench­mark for club food.

“Peo­ple too of­ten seek to eat fast and I want peo­ple to look for­ward to eat­ing out and re­turn to feast­ing with their eyes, so when they come into the club they can see into our kitchen and the chefs at work,” he said.

“I want less queu­ing and more an­tic­i­pa­tion for fine din­ing. it’s some­thing to savour in ev­ery way.”

He has de­signed the menu around fresh, sea­sonal and lo­cal pro­duce that’s grown and raised by Sun­shine Coast farm­ing fam­i­lies.

“We are re­ally com­mit­ted to buy­ing lo­cal, cre­at­ing jobs and sup­port­ing the re­gion’s her­itage of farm­ing and agri­cul­ture, so we buy di­rect when­ever we can, keep it lo­cal and keep the money in town so that we all thrive,” the chef said.

“I want to give peo­ple more funky, mod­ern choices and prove that a pre­pared, stocked and run kitchen can serve up restau­rant qual­ity food ev­ery time.”

PHOTO: RE­BECCA GRISMAN

HEAT­ING UP: Gareth Collins headed up two res­tau­rants for Beef Aus­tralia in Rock­hamp­ton.

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