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Head chef, Alchemy731
parents in the English West Midlands, today both he and his sister are professional chefs. He remembers always eating great food as a child, but hating the smell of Stilton cheese that hung around the cheese-trolley waitress. Derek trained and worked in and around London for eight years, at places like two Michelin-starred Le Champignon Sauvage and The Tenth Restaurant overlooking Kensington Palace Gardens. He then came to Sydney as sous chef for Bather’s Pavilion where the weather and views got the better of him. He has recently been granted Australian citizenship which is great news for Sydney diners.
In 2004 Derek opened Alchemy731 in Mosman, awarded one chef’s hat and goblet in the 2007 SMH Good Food Guide. His favourite fine dining restaurant in Sydney is Quay for Peter Gilmore’s experimental techniques and presentation (“it’s pretty cool”), but for more casual dining he likes Buzo and De Vine wine bar. He always eats out on his days off or gets takeaway sushi, and tries to keep out of the kitchen. But if you’re cooking at home he has this advice: don’t be afraid to experiment, season a little at a time (you can always add more), and make sure you have quality ingredients and good equipment.