Catch up with lead­ing North East chef Doug El­der of Brown Broth­ers.

North East Living Magazine - - Contents - words Anita Mcpher­son pho­tos Ewen Bell

...with Brown

Broth­ers’ ex­ec­u­tive chef Dou­glas El­der

BROWN Broth­ers’ ex­ec­u­tive chef Dou­glas El­der is never short of in­spi­ra­tion when it comes to the thought­ful and del­i­cately bal­anced dishes he cre­ates for Pa­tri­cia’s Ta­ble Restau­rant, or in the more re­laxed­ri­ous food and wine space, at Brown Broth­ers cel­lar door in Mi­lawa.

He shares a lit­tle about his in­ter­ests, ideas and love for lo­cally grown pro­duce that changes ev­ery sea­son, with North East Liv­ing.

When did you first dis­cover your pas­sion for food and cook­ing?

I would say that my pas­sion for cook­ing has been built up over the years. Whilst I was in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a chef as a teenager, it wasn’t re­ally un­til I got into the trade that I re­ally de­vel­oped a pas­sion for food. I love to travel and food has al­ways been a very im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent. When did you de­cide to make it a ca­reer? When I was in my last year of high school I de­cided to get into cook­ing as a ca­reer. It took sev­eral months to find an ap­pren­tice­ship but I fi­nally got one at the Sher­a­ton Ho­tel in Mel­bourne. What are some of your favourite in­gre­di­ents to cook with? I would say veg­eta­bles are my favourite in­gre­di­ent. I al­ways find it in­ter­est­ing how many dif­fer­ent ways that you can cook veg­eta­bles and the mul­ti­tude of dishes that can be cre­ated from them. What foods or fads do you avoid? I wouldn’t re­ally say that I avoid any re­ally - all fads come back again even­tu­ally. Where do you find the in­spi­ra­tion for new dishes? I find in­spi­ra­tion in all sorts of places in­clud­ing travel, tele­vi­sion, cook­books, and from the chefs that I work with on a daily ba­sis. We are al­ways bounc­ing ideas around in the kitchen and ev­ery­body has dif­fer­ent ideas and ex­pe­ri­ences.

What can we ex­pect to see on your menu in the cooler months?

We are just start­ing to change the menu now as we move into Au­tumn. There will be chest­nuts, parsnips, turnips, quinces, ap­ples, pump­kin; all of that won­der­ful au­tumn pro­duce that re­ally tells you of the chang­ing sea­sons.

What meal would you say was a favourite for a fam­ily/quiet night at home?

It might be bor­ing, but I re­ally love a good roast chicken with roasted veg­eta­bles - it al­ways re­minds me of home.

What do you like about liv­ing and work­ing in North East Vic­to­ria?

I’ve lived in the North East for 13 years now and I have al­ways loved that there are so many dif­fer­ent and di­verse pro­duc­ers, farm­ers and chefs in the re­gion. There is al­ways some­thing new hap­pen­ing and it’s great to form re­la­tion­ships with these small sup­pli­ers.

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