Celebrity Chef Celebrity Chef
Alastair McLeod is an Irishman with an Australian appreciation for quality coffee. He talks to BeanScene about European kitchens, his indigenous roots, and why six coffees a day is an acceptable quota.
Alastair McLeod still boasts a strong Irish accent after calling Brisbane home for the past 22 years, but in that time he’s adopted a love for all things quintessentially Australian: Vegemite toast, mangos, and coffee.
“I can still see my mummy and daddy in Belfast drinking instant coffee. My dad worked in cafes in Ireland and in restaurants throughout school, but Belfast wasn’t a discerning coffee culture growing up. It was in its formative years. They were serving instant coffee in the cafes,” Alastair says. Read more
Matt Golinski has coffee on his mind even before his interview with BeanScene magazine begins. On an early morning call to the Sunshine Coast-local, Matt answers the phone while at his local fruit shop buying milk and coffee.
“Can I call you back? I’m just getting the only one-kilogram bag of beans on the shelf,” Matt says.
There are some magical coffee moments you never forget. For Dinner By Heston Blumenthal’s Chef Director Ashley Palmer-Watts, that moment was five years ago when he, two chefs, and a maître d’ climbed Africa’s highest mountain peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. Read more
Anna Polyviou is a chef with artistic flair, edgy look, and carefree attitude. With her trademark pink mohawk hair and zest for life, it’s little wonder that the ‘Punk Princess of Pastry’ captivates audiences on TV screens and on paper.
Anna’s the first to admit she likes pushing the limits, both in her food creations and daily routine. Recently, she decided to go on a month-long national tour to launch her new Sweet Street cook book, travelling from Perth to Melbourne, Sydney to Canberra, and Darwin to Brisbane, cooking with young kids and signing books for anyone who asked.
“I can’t wait for people to go buy the book from the shops but I also wanted to take the opportunity to personalise the experience for my supporters,” Anna says. “I wanted the chance to meet people, talk about the book, why it’s designed, and what it involves, because it’s not just an average book. It’s been four to five years in the making.” Read more
After 25 years working in Italian kitchens, Tobie Puttock has consumed more espresso shots than many would dare attempt in a lifetime.
At just 18 years of age, Tobie would watch as waiters brought a tray of 12 espressos to the kitchen for the staff of four on the hour, and they’d drink every one.
“It was espresso all the way because that’s what the other chefs had and I wanted to fit in, to the point I’d drink so much I’d be a shaking nervous wreck,” Tobie says. “We were doing six double shifts a week on a seven-month contract, and everyone just lived off caffeine.”
Growing up, Tobie’s parents weren’t big on coffee. His first taste of Nescafe was thanks to his “bogan best mate” at 17, but it is the aroma of coffee he recalls most, brewing in his godmother’s restaurant. It’s still the thing he enjoys waking up to each day.
“The first thing I do in the morning is put a pod through my Nespresso machine, which is like getting a big warm hug to start the day,” he says. Read more
There have been many significant people in Adrian Richardson’s life that have offered him advice, passed on skills, and shared recipes. But when it comes to coffee appreciation, Adrian has his grandfathers to thank.
“I lived with my grandparents when I was young and there was always a coffee aroma in the house. I remember my grandfather grinding the coffee with an electric grinder and putting it into a little cafeteria – that was nonno’s coffee,” Adrian says. “I would sit on his knee, put two sugars in his coffee and stir it around.” Read more
At age 11, Jacques Reymond was exposed to coffee, but not in the way many Australians know it. Rather than fond memories of drinking instant dried granules, bialetti coffee boiling on the stovetop, or a golden espresso dripping from a spout, Jacques recalls his first exposure to caffeine in the form of a liqueur. Read more
Peter Gilmore works in what is arguably one the best office settings in Australia, if not the world – the Sydney Opera House. Each day he looks out over Sydney Harbour at Bennelong restaurant with a “strong” piccolo latte in hand, and marvels at how lucky he is. Read more
Curtis Stone has made his first Los Angeles-based restaurant Maude a success by celebrating just one ingredient each month. Such foods have included zucchinis, plums, cherries, radishes, and apples, to name a few. When BeanScene asks Curtis if coffee has ever made the cut, there’s a slight pause in his response. Read more
Virgin Australia has announced a partnership with sustainable mushroom start up, Fungimental, to introduce sustainably-produced oyster mushrooms on board its flights. Read more