Anthony Sullivan, executive chef at Forte Catering & Events, uses his love of fresh produce and passion for food artistry to create dishes that are perfectly suited to the occasion.
Where did you grow up? I’m a country boy who grew up in Bathurst, NSW. A place bursting with fresh produce and amazing wine.
When did you realise you wanted to be a chef? I realised I wanted to be a chef in 1988 when I was in year 11, I was more interested in cooking than I was in any other subjects at school!
What does it take to be a successful chef? Becoming a successful chef, in my opinion, boils down to three major qualities, patience, dedication and passion.
What is your signature dish? My signature dish is steamed West Australian marron tails, fennel puree, golden beets and asparagus. It’s a simply beautiful dish where the fresh flavours of the marron and individual vegetables speak for themselves.
What can people expect from your catering company? Forte Catering & Events is a gold license catering company that creates fine food experiences for all occasions. Obviously our "Forte" is event catering – though we can cater for events from 5 people to 500! At Forte, not only are we passionate about our food artistry, but we are also dedicated to providing environmentally friendly and sustainable catering solutions.
What is unique about Forte? Forte is totally committed to delivering outstanding events and exceptional levels of client service. We ensure the food we create is fresh, succulent, unusual and perfectly suited to each occasion. We are also the only Gold License catering company in Sydney to offer an exclusively organic menu.
What is the chef serving in heaven? Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! To be specific I would imagine heaven’s chef to be serving deliciously rich miniature sacher tortes.
What is the most bizarre dish you have ever tried? When I was travelling in Japan I tried larvae and fried locusts, it’s a Japanese delicacy and surprisingly delicious.
What is one question people are always asking you? People are always asking me if I watch MasterChef and the answer is YES. Obviously I’m often working nights but I catch it when I can and get my wife to fill me in on the latest. I think Masterchef has been responsible for really inspiring home cooks in Australia and making every day Aussies passionate about great food.
What is your biggest food indulgence? Imported cheese is by far my biggest food indulgence, especially Quadrello di Bufala which is an imported cheese from Italy’s Lombardy region. It’s luscious and creamy but finishes sharp and salty.
What flavours/ingredients are your favourite to work with? I love working with fresh, seasonal ingredients and flavours. Right now I’m loving chestnuts, quince, aromatics and herbs.
Which three people would to invite to a dinner party? The three people I would love to have over for a dinner party would be the legendary Maggie Beer who needs no introduction. Naturally I would pick her brain as much as possible. The other two people would be Simon Yates, the awe-inspiring mountaineer and Craig Mottram the distance runner. Both of these guys really inspire me.
What is your best tip for home cooks? The best advice I could offer home cooks is to invest in good quality base products. Ingredients such as oils, vinegars and stocks are the basis of so many dishes and if you have quality base ingredients that are rich in flavour you’re well on your way to creating superb dishes at home.
For more information on Andrew Sullivan and Forte Catering & Events, head to the website at www.fortecatering.com.au.