Chef Laurent Cambon from Sydney's Machiavelli Ristorante Italiano shares where his culinary inspiration comes from.
From heeding his mother's advice about becoming a chef, to heading up a first-class Italian restaurant, Laurent sits down with Lifestyle to talk everything food.
Why did you want to become a chef?
"I travelled all around Europe as a youngster with my parents and ate out a fair bit in different countries. I loved the travel and loved the different cuisines and my Mum said to me was: 'Son if you love to travel and love the food become a chef,' so I took her advice."
Who is your biggest industry inspiration?
"In the Australian cuisine sphere, it is Chef Dietmar Sawer. His professionalism, knowledge is is incredible and I would describe him as a gentleman of cuisine."
What’s your go-to kitchen appliance?
"The Vitamix Blender is reliable, efficient and multipurpose. When you run a busy kitchen you need appliances you can rely on."
Favourite ingredient to cook with and why?
"Good Virgin Olive Oil drizzled at the end lifts the aroma and balances the flavours of most dishes."
What is your career highlight so far?
"Working at Machiavelli has been an amazing journey, the Italian cuisine, our unique diners and a great team has been an exciting environment to be part of."
What staple meal do you cook regularly at home?
"I try to keep the meals simple, lots of vegetables, and good protein. My hobby is deep sea fishing and I love bringing home fresh fish I caught from our Australian ocean and cook it for my family and friends. I often bring it in to work and share the catch with my Machiavelli family."
Can you tell us about the worst cooking blunder you’ve ever had?
"While working in Hong Kong I was catering for a special family and went to the market and bought a monster-size prawn, this was an absolute disaster as it tasted like rubber and tough to eat. I later discovered that this type of prawn needed to be braised for hours in a sweet and sour sauce in order to tenderise it."
Visit Machiavelli to taste Chef Laurent's menu - now open Saturday nights from 6pm.