Some of the Gold Coast’s most talented and creative artists work in kitchens.
They are chefs with international experience who’ve been classically trained – taught by masters of the trade and been part of teams in Michelin-star restaurants.
What sets them apart is their exceptional attention to detail. Their adherence to the art of plating elevates their dishes from delicious or inventive to a work of art. Foams, soils, smoke, dehydrations, powders and purées are all elements on their plates.
These chefs understand the synergy and philosophy of each dish; how colour, texture and taste balance and enhance flavour and experience.
More Gold Coast chats to five local chefs about their work and the Gold Coast’s burgeoning dining scene…
Adam Lane – Kiyomi
Australian-born Adam Lane (pictured above) is Kiyomi’s Chef de Cuisine, working with Executive Chef Chase Kojima to create modern masterpieces, each one a work of art on the plate.
Having met his wife in Tetsuya’s kitchen, the couple decided to make their home the Gold Coast – a place where they felt comfortable raising their son.
“We decided to move to the Gold Coast for a lifestyle change and haven’t looked back,” Lane says.
“It’s been fantastic to watch the food scene really grow on the Gold Coast. There has been a huge improvement in restaurants and I think it has everything to do with meeting what the customer wants.”
Lane’s commitment to culinary excellence has gained the talented chef a host of accolades. Classically trained with a background in French and Thai cooking, Lane has a passion for pursuing unique flavour combinations that complement his creative modern Japanese style.
He has been working specifically with Japanese cuisine for 15 years and is driven by quality produce:
“Our dishes are always seasonally driven. There’s great quality produce on the Gold Coast, but the market for seafood is particularly competitive. Developing a relationship with suppliers and farmers is so important in achieving fresh, flavoursome produce. We get a text first thing in the morning to say which fish is fresh that day, and we work with that produce to create dishes.”
Lane praises the innovative culture of Kiyomi’s kitchen and believes the freedom to be creative and try new things is paramount in successful cooking:
“I like to come up with techniques that you don’t usually see in traditional Japanese cooking. As a chef, it’s important to stay creative and constantly challenge yourself – it’s how you create good food.
“My goal is to keep making clients happy by setting the benchmark for fine food. I’m also looking forward to future developments in Jupiters with the opening of the six-star all-suite tower and the restaurants it brings.”
Dayan Hartill-Law – Vanitas
Chef de Cuisine, Australian-born Dayan Hartill-Law, honed his skills at award-winning restaurants around the world including Sydney’s three-hatted restaurant Quay, as well as The Press Club and the two Michelin-star restaurant Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London.
Situated on the Spit overlooking the Gold Coast’s Broadwater, Palazzo Versace is a hotel of choice for the rich and famous.
Patrons sit in intimate surroundings looking out through floor to ceiling glass to Versace’s sparkling lagoon pool. Vanitas was named The Most Fashionable Restaurant Around the World by Harper’s Bazaar, 2015.
Yet, a mere hundred metres away, prawn trawlers pull into the dock and sell their night’s catch to locals and restaurateurs alike.
The provenance of Vanitas’ seafood is without question. Employing the locavore principle, Vanitas celebrates the best sustainable seasonal produce from the Gold Coast area.
Hartill-Law’s cooking is modernist – manipulating flavour and texture to create a whimsical menu filled with the intrigue of unexpected combinations. The signature degustation dining experience with matching wines is a ‘must try’ if you are seeking an unforgettable culinary journey.
Sam Moore – room81
Dining at room81 in Broadbeach, you embark on an experience of the cultured Sofitel brand that through sight, sound, smell, taste and feel demonstrates that you will be well cared for. Its international elegance and sophistication is unmistakably French.
The hatted room81 fits perfectly into the Sofitel philosophy – an understated dining room seating 20 diners, their closeness to the kitchen overlooking the action adding a voyeuristic dimension to the dining experience.
Chef de Cuisine Sam Moore has a decade of experience spanning from Europe to top restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne, including Greg Doyle’s Pier, No 41 Chifley Place, and the Sofitel Melbourne On Collins’ signature restaurant, No 35.
From master chefs, Moore has learned the fine art of presentation. While his cuisine is European-influenced, his experimental presentation takes him out of the traditionalist stable, touting his youthfulness like a colourful banner:
“As I create each dish, I try to achieve a story behind the dish such as where it has come from – purpose, flavour and textures. Then we work on the final presentation.”
Moore adds that he loves living and working on the Gold Coast:
“I believe the Gold Coast is up and coming in the food scene right now, with an influx of quality chefs. I’m quite excited about the foraging scene that’s developing on the coast, grabbing the chance to be using unique products that no one else has. The Gold Coast is a great place to live. Also, the sun helps.”
A hatted restaurant, room81 offers a choice of five, seven or nine course degustation of Moore’s exquisite food.
James Fiske – Seaduction Restaurant + Bar
Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, Seaduction Restaurant + Bar enjoys uninterrupted views of the ocean.
Celebrated Executive Chef James Fiske brings more than 20 years’ experience working in Macquarie Group’s Michelin-star establishments across the UK and Europe before moving to Australia, where he was formerly Chef de Cuisine at Vanitas, Palazzo Versace.
Fiske has created a bespoke menu that celebrates his international culinary practices:
“I’ve drawn on my English heritage and transformative experience throughout Europe to create a modern and dynamic European menu with Australian and Asian influences to perfectly complement the Seaduction Restaurant + Bar setting. I cook what I enjoy to eat.”
His finely crafted, innovative and highly technical dishes display each plate as a work of art. There’s a kaleidoscope of colour on the plate, a balance of textures and structure that leads patrons on a journey.
“My cooking technique can be described as modern with a classical base,” he tells More Gold Coast. “It’s so important to start with a good base.”
Fusing earth and sea and bursting with fresh local produce, the menu features exquisite combinations of taste and texture, changing seasonally to make use of the finest, freshest produce available from Australia’s niche producers and providores.
Fiske tells us that his favourite dish from Seduction’s new summer menu is the Tandoori grouper with wild rice, sweet potato and oyster mushroom:
“This dish is a good reflection of what I enjoy to cook, with slightly spiced influences that highlight the base product.”
Fiske comments on the development of dining options on the Gold Coast and the quality and plethora of choices on offer to diners”
“The Gold Coast food scene has transformed tremendously in the three years I’ve been based on the coast. The introduction of funky modern Asian restaurants like Mamasan to cool modern breakfast restaurants like Hot Shott at Main Beach has expanded the food offering and quality on the Gold Coast.”
Daniel Ridgeway – Little Truffle
Little Truffle’s elegant venue provides the perfect backdrop for chef and restaurateur Daniel Ridgeway and his beautifully presented modern European cuisine.
Ridgeway began his career on the Gold Coast at Royal Pines Resort. He went on to work in London (at The Square and Searcy’s); Vancouver (with David Hawksworth at West Restaurant) and also Melbourne (at Ezard and 312).
After returning to the Gold Coast, Ridgeway worked for Sofitel, founding Room81 with his own stamp.
Since his return, he acknowledges the food explosion that has occurred in the city.
“The food and dining scene has exploded over the past five years on the Gold Coast, particularly over the last two years. It is fantastic for both locals and tourists that most new venues which have opened provide a great offering, whether it be their cuisine, ambience or location.
Although Gold Coasters will most likely link Ridgeway to his other recent openings – BiN 72, BiN 12, BiN 232, BiN 89 and Rivea Italian Dining – Ridgeway still considers Little Truffle Dining Room & Bar as the cornerstone of his work:
“It was my first venue and thankfully it was successful, mainly because of the massive support l received from locals.
“Although l have opened many more venues over the years, the fact that Little Truffle is still a successful venue six years later is definitely my greatest and most treasured achievement to date.”
Ridgeway is often in the kitchen, handmaking pasta alongside Little Truffle’s talented Chef de Cuisine, Jason Burt.
Little Truffle takes all the things that people love about silver service and hones them back into an intimate, casual and relaxed modern dining experience.
Ridgeway has won numerous awards for his culinary skills including Chef of the Year and the Australian Culinary Federation Queensland’s Restaurant of Champions two years running.