Perth based New Zealander Sam Ward; head chef at El Público is taking the traditional dishes of Mexico and giving them his own style.
Sam cut his teeth training at 5 Star Millennium Hotel in Christchurch and competing in numerous competitions in NZ including World Junior Chef.
Arriving on the sunny shores of Perth three years ago, Sam found himself at Cantina 663 cooking with only the best seasonal produce and was swiftly promoted to Sous Chef after a mere 6 months. Sam was then given the opportunity to engage his passion for Mexican Cuisine and given the role of head chef at El Público in 2012 he took a trip to Mexico before opening to hone his skills and did stages and workshops with some of Mexico’s finest chefs including Enrique Olvera at Pujol and Pilar Cabera at La Olla but it was his time with Mexican food doyenne Diana Kennedy at her eco farm in Michoacán where he really started to understand the cuisine, his time here was life changing.
Sam returned to Australia inspired and armed with new recipes and a vision for the food at El Público. The past two years has seen Sam achieve success with El Público listed in the Australian hottest 50 restaurants. He has cooked for Gourmet Traveller Generation Next, contributed to countless publications, assisted with the opening of Mary Street Bakery, Mt. Lawley and last year won Gourmet Traveller Best New Talent. Mostly though Sam is just happiest with his head down cooking good food!