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Matt Dillow was once terrified of making desserts but today his signature dish is a chocolate soufflé, so there’s hope for every novice cook!
Matt Dillow began his career as a chef at Sydney’s Hotel CBD and Slip Inn before taking time off to travel Europe and explore its different flavours. Arriving back in Sydney, he revitalised the historic Barrenjoey House before deciding to open his first restaurant in 2007, The Verandah Restaurant, on the Calais Estate in the Hunter Valley.
Where did you grow up?
When did you realise you wanted to be a chef?
“13 years old.”
Is there one dish you still struggle to get right?
“I once was scared making any dessert because I didn’t have the patience but now I love doing them, maybe just older and wiser.”
What does it take to be a successful chef?
“Dedication, passionate, responsible, patience, people person and most of all enjoying what you do!”
Worst job you have ever had?
“Working at a nursing home for a week, it felt like a month. It was when I was a contract chef but I guess somebody has to do it.”
What is your signature dish?
“I would have to say my soft-centred chocolate soufflé with Baileys and almond ice-cream.”
What is unique about your restaurant?
“Its location on a winery in the Hunter Valley.”
What is the chef serving in heaven?
“Roast lamb - another favourite.”
What is the most bizarre dish you have ever tried?
“Seafood with chocolate sauce, not my style but bizarre.”
What is one question people are always asking you?
“How do you last working pretty much every weekend?”
What is your biggest food indulgence?
“Duck done any way.”
How do you have your coffee?
What ingredient are you obsessed with right now?
“Saffron has always been one of my favourite ingredients as it can be used in so many different styles of dishes and even desserts.”
Which three people would you invite to a dinner party?
“Jamie Oliver and some good friends, and better say my wife or she will get cranky.”
What is your best tip for home cooks?
“Make sure the BBQ is hot before you put your food on.”
Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month - throughout June. Visit hunterwineandfood.com.au.... Read more.