Head Chef of the Bentley Restaurant and Bar in Sydney, Brent Savage, has already had a remarkable career to date. He's won accolades such as the SMH Chef of the Year and is considered one of the most talented young chefs in Australia with a unique cooking style and innovative approach to food.
The Bentley has consistently been rated one of Australia's top restaurants and praised by critics as one of the most dynamic eating and drinking experiences in the country. In the 2007 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, Simon Thomsen described Savage`s food as "visually astonishing" and a "deliciously wild ride".
LifeStyle FOOD caught up with Brent to find out about his latest projects and food philosophy.
Where did you grow up? When did you realise you wanted to be a chef?
I grew up in Lithgow in the Blue Mountains. I knew I wanted to be a chef from a young age. My family and mentor Philip Searle (Vulkans Restaurant) inspired me.
What projects or ventures are you currently working on?
I have recently finished my book – Bentley: Contemporary Cuisine – which has just been named Australia’s best Chef Cookbook of 2010 by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
I have also been selected as an Australian representative to cook at The World Gourmet Summit in Singapore. I am cooking a series of four dinners with Ryan Clift from Tippling Club Restaurant, alongside mixologist Matt Bax, which I am really looking forward to. So lots on the boil, which is just the way I like it!
What does it take to be a successful chef?
Dedication, thick skin and a genuine passion for food. Liking a halogen tan also helps!
What is your signature dish?
Slow Cooked Lamb Rump with Kipfler Potatoes and Macadamia Puree (see the link to Brent's amazing recipe below!)
What is unique about your restaurant?
Bentley is all about contemporary cuisine, offering fine dining with a casual feel. We are always pushing the boundaries of modern food, trying to innovate and be progressive with our thinking – without charging through the roof for it!
Who or what inspires you in the kitchen?
The teamwork between the boys and I – there is always a laugh to be had but at the same time there is a lot of discipline.
What is one question people are always asking you?
'Where do chefs eat on their days off?!' And the answer to that is all over town. I especially love Akis’ Indian in Woolloomooloo and Sea Bay Chinese in the city.
What ingredient are you obsessed with right now?
What is your best tip for home cooks?
Buy my cookbook!!
Where is your favourite place to travel?
I am going to India and Singapore in the coming months – so very much looking forward to eating some interesting cuisine there. I like going anywhere where there is food of a different genre to be sampled.
Here is the recipe for Brent Savage's signature dish -
Want to purchase a copy of Brent's new cookbook? Head to www.thebentley.com.au