EYE TASTE

Townsville Bulletin - Townsville Eye - - Books -

Liam Brady’s ca­reer has come full cir­cle af­ter leav­ing the food in­dus­try more than 10 years ago. Brady orig­i­nally com­pleted his ap­pren­tice­ship as a chef in Syd­ney be­fore ditch­ing the long hours, week­end and night work, and low wages for greener pas­tures in sales and mar­ket­ing.

“I worked in some good restau­rants in Syd­ney when I was do­ing my ap­pren­tice­ship, but I just hated it. I think I was too young. You should be more ma­ture when you be­come a chef,” he said.

“I was 20 years old when I fin­ished my trade and all my mates were run­ning around chas­ing the par­ties and sheilas and I was do­ing split shifts and earn­ing bug­ger all. So I fin­ished my trade and got out.”

But when he was made re­dun­dant from his sales man­age­ment role mid­last year, Brady found his way back to his first love, tak­ing up a job as a grill chef at the Cen­te­nary Ho­tel as a way to “pay for a bit of boat fuel”.

“I’ve al­ways loved food, al­ways loved cook­ing, and I was just un­happy with any

W O R D S : P H O T O S : sales role or man­ager role I came across. It just didn’t suit me any­more. I was sick of be­ing in the cor­po­rate cog,” he said.

Since reignit­ing his pas­sion for food, Brady made the bold move to start his own food truck busi­ness — 2 Grin­gos Cuban Street Food. Week­days he’s parked out­side Re-Car truck re­pairs on Ing­ham Road, serv­ing what he de­scribes as ‘up­per class tradie meals’ in­clud­ing his fa­mous Cuban sand­wich and other home­made dishes. He also at­tends mar­kets and spe­cial events like Pop Up Food Trucks Townsville where his full se­lec­tion of Cuban street food is on of­fer.

“One of the dishes is the ropa vieja which is a tomato-based casse­role with ca­pers, olives, and lots of cap­sicum. It’s Cuba’s na­tional dish. The pork is cooked for about 18 hours in a mojo recipe that we’ve per­fected,” he said.

“I love work­ing with pork, and I’ve al­ways loved work­ing with pork. I’ve got a wood-fired spit at home that I’d cook a bone­less leg of pork for eight hours on a Satur­day. Fam­ily and friends know that if you’re com­ing for din­ner at our place you’re get­ting overfed with re­ally good food.”

Brady says that although he’s glad to be out of the cor­po­rate world and work­ing with food again, get­ting the busi­ness off the ground has meant a lot of hard work and some very long days. But there have been some up sides to hav­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in both worlds.

“The 10 years in sales has re­ally as­sisted me in just know­ing the prod­uct and that kind of thing. I’m not the best chef in the world, but hav­ing been in man­age­ment, sales, and mar­ket­ing be­fore start­ing this, I think that’s why it’s gone so well,” he said.

“I didn’t ex­pect it to be as hard as it turned out be­ing. I thought it’d just be cruisy be­cause I could be my own boss and so on, but (last) Fri­day [at the Pop Up Food Trucks Fes­ti­val] I did 18 hours straight. But for me it’s more about the love of food now.”

ROPA VIEJA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.