We caught up with The Foragers Head Chef, Danny, and Executive Chef, Patrick, for a Q&A.
How did you get into cooking?
Patrick: I’ve always cooked, even as a kid. I was always on the bench next to mum with my hands in the food. There was nothing else I wanted to do.
Danny: My Nan inspired me with her baking in my early years.
What’s your philosophy when it comes to food?
Patrick: Using fresh clean flavours, from locally sourced, seasonal produce.
Danny: I can only be as good as my suppliers are.
Where did you train and what was the most memorable lesson they taught you?
Patrick: I trained in Sydney for four years as a apprentice. The most important lesson I was taught was don’t always go by the book, think outside the box
Danny: I’ve never had any formal training. I’ve gained my experience and training at the various places I’ve worked at. Most important lesson – Always pay attention to detail.
What ingredient is most important to your cooking?
Patrick/Danny: Good quality butter and of course salt.
Do you use local ingredients to cook with? If so, what are your favourites?
Patrick: Yes – Currently asparagus
Danny: Yes – Currently rhubarb
What is your signature dish?
Patrick: Duo of guinea fowl: pan roasted breast, rillette of leg, fondant potato, spinach purée, red wine jus
Danny: Poached rhubarb, oat crumble, custard ice cream, custard creme brûlée
What has been your best culinary idea?
Patrick: Jasmine tea smoked duck.
Danny: Duck liver bake well tart.
What might people expect to taste and experience from The Foragers?
Patrick/Danny: A contemporary twist on traditional British pub food. Great flavours and seasonal produce.
What do you believe you are doing differently with The Foragers cuisine to others?
Patrick/Danny: We aim to think outside the box to create a unique pub dinning experience.
What is the one cooking tool you cannot do without in your kitchen?
Patrick/Danny: Gas and electricity….. And also good quality knives.
Top three tips for amateur chef?
Patrick/Danny: Patience, focus and willingness to learn.