SAM AND AN­NETTE

WHITE­GRASS

T. Dining by Singapore Tatler - - Savour Feature -

Sam Ais­bett’s the head chef and “big boss”—at least as much as An­nette Glover al­lows him to be. They met while work­ing at the Hy­att Ho­tel on the Gold Coast in 2003, when he was an ap­pren­tice chef at its fine-din­ing restau­rant and she was a su­per­vi­sor at one of the other restau­rants. To­day, they head up one of the hottest restau­rants on the is­land—one that chal­lenges the gen­eral per­cep­tion of mod­ern Aus­tralian cooking, led by Sam’s cre­ative so­phis­ti­ca­tion and pas­sion for lo­cal pro­duce.

HAS A MU­TUAL LOVE OF GAS­TRON­OMY BROUGHT YOU CLOSER?

She said: Not at the be­gin­ning; I didn’t have a love of gas­tron­omy prior to meet­ing Sam. We come from very dif­fer­ent up­bring­ings when it comes to food. I have learnt to un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate food more since be­ing with Sam and now en­joy go­ing out to try dif­fer­ent types of food. He said: No—it helps com­ing from the same in­dus­try, though. We un­der­stand the hours, the crazi­ness and ev­ery­thing you need to sac­ri­fice to be in this in­dus­try.

It helps com­ing from the same in­dus­try, though. We un­der­stand the hours, the crazi­ness and ev­ery­thing you need to sac­ri­fice to be in this in­dus­try

HOW HAS SPEND­ING THAT MUCH TIME TO­GETHER SHAPED THE RE­LA­TION­SHIP?

She said: It hasn’t been easy. Be­ing with each other 24 hours a day, seven days a week can be tough. Es­pe­cially since pre­vi­ously we used to work op­po­site hours—i worked early cafe hours and Sam worked late restau­rant hours, so we would only ever see each other one day a week. It also makes it dif­fi­cult to switch off, as all we can talk about is work. Hav­ing said that, I wouldn’t want to do it with­out him. He said: I love work­ing with An­nette; we get to see each other ev­ery sec­ond of the day. But some­times, we just hate each other—you need to have space! Other times, it’s the best thing in the world to have some­one to talk to and vent to and who un­der­stands.

DO YOU HAVE RULES ABOUT BRING­ING WORK HOME?

She said: No, but we should! We try to have one night where I might cook some­thing homely and we veg out watch­ing Net­flix—but Sam is still think­ing about work, I know! He said: Work is ev­ery­thing to me. I’m al­ways think­ing about what I can do bet­ter, what I will cre­ate next, how I can im­prove. Will I have staff to­mor­row? I can’t switch off. It’s hard to talk about things out­side of work, when we spend so much of our lives at work.

HOW WOULD YOU REWORK YOUR VOWS?

He said: For bet­ter or for worse… to make sure she never runs out of cof­fee, and to al­ways love her more than I love my dogs, un­til she starts get­ting the or­ders wrong! She said: For bet­ter or for worse… to make sure he gets to say he is the big boss and do ev­ery­thing else aside from the cooking, un­til he starts for­get­ting I am the real boss!

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