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He’s not a fan of chicken feet or plucking turkeys but give Nick Reade a full English and he’s a happy man!
Hailing from the UK, Nick Reade trained with culinary royalty, Albert and Michel Roux at London’s Le Gavroche, before moving to France to work with Michelin-starred Michel Chabran. Teaming up with JW Marriott hotels, Nick worked in various hotels around the world before settling in Melbourne to head up Alluvial Restaurant at the iconic Melbourne institution, InterContinental The Rialto.
Where did you grow up?
“North Bedfordshire, UK.”
When did you realise you wanted to be a chef?
“Around the age of 10, home baking on my grandparents’ farm.”
Is there one dish you still struggle to get right?
“Not really, if there was I wouldn’t put it on the menu.”
What does it take to be a successful chef?
“Determination, flexibility, leadership, sense of humour, hard graft and most importantly, really love what you do.”
Worst job you have ever had?
“Plucking turkeys during Christmas school holidays – freezing cold, boring and smelly but I needed the cash for Christmas presents.”
What is your signature dish?
“North Sea Cod, new season potatoes, spinach, soft poached egg and seeded mustard and dill cream sauce.”
What can people expect from your restaurant?
“Quality ingredients, value for money, lots of Victorian produce, quarterly menu changes and fantastic atmosphere in iconic surroundings.”
What is unique about your restaurant?
“As many ingredients as possible are sourced within 200km of the restaurant, including herbs from our own rooftop garden.”
What is the chef serving in heaven?
“Full English breakfast, a pint of Earl Grey tea, served with the daily newspaper and some peace and quiet.”
What is the most bizarre dish you have ever tried?
“Chicken feet for breakfast in Hong Kong (there’s better things for breakfast, trust me).”
What is one question people are always asking you?
“Who cooks at home and what do I love to cook most.”
What is your biggest food indulgence?
“Eating out for breakfast - great culture in Australia.”
What flavours/ingredients are your favourite to work with?
“At the moment, native Australian ingredients and produce but it changes all the time depending on my mood.”
Which three people would you invite to a dinner party?
“King Henry VIII, Attila the Hun, Margaret Thatcher and Jonathan Ross (sorry, that’s four). Interesting table conversation…”
What is your best tip for home cooks?
“Don’t always follow a recipe, be creative.”