Position: Head Chef
Where: 1907 Restaurant and Cocktail Bar
Tell us a bit about your restaurant?
1907 offers classic fine dining with a modern edge incorporated into its style. Housed in a 105 year old building which was originally a rag-trade factory. Committed to sustainable dining, our purchase of a farm estate in Toodyay called “The Range” enforces our philosophy – “Paddock to Plate”. All food is made from scratch on-site – from the bread at the start of the meal to the petit four and morsels at the end, resulting in a unique dining experience for the guests. This is further enforced with extra little details in the menu, including a wide range of cheese from the trolley, and up to four different menus on offer on any evening.
How did you decide on the career of being a chef?
I actually wanted to be a Computer Programmer, but the hotel management course changed all that and cooking seemed like a good choice as it would take me to places and it definitely did.
What’s the one cooking tip you wish someone had told you sooner?
A chef will never have a social life – would have stuck to computer programming otherwise!
Do you have a favourite breakfast?
If I had to cook for a guest I would it would be Eggs Benedict, but if I was to cook for myself it would be an Indian scrambled egg called “Bhurji”, it is cooked with turmeric, shallots, tomato and coriander.
What did you have for dinner on your last day off?
Since it was Father’s day I did have a nice roast chicken cooked by my brother in law Michael (he used a Heston Blumenthal recipe) for the family and it was delicious.
What’s your favourite place in Perth to eat out and why?
Since I cook a lot of steaks I do like someone else to cook one for me, so Rockpool would be my favourite.
The best thing about the Perth food scene?
With the number of restaurants, cafes and bistro opening the choices are endless, which is also attracting all the big chefs to come to Perth.
People trying to compare Perth to eastern states, because we do have our own identity, which is ever growing and changing.
Where do you recommend for fresh produce?
Our 1907 farm in Toodyay is always a great thing to have with all the fresh produce, but when going shopping it’s the local fresh market
Give us one “egg” related tip?
Please… FREE RANGE only, and also from producers that only do free range. They do taste better. (I have 2 chooks at home and get 2 eggs every day, my 4 year old son named them Tina and Stella)
Do you have a tip for customers to improve their dining experience?
Most diners should allow enough time for dinner, as nothing is worth rushing. And always have a dessert.
Tell us about your recipe?
We do a house made muesli for our customers to take home in a goodie bag at the end of dinner, which they could add milk or yoghurt and have it in the morning. It’s quite a healthy start to the mornings.
– Photo of Alan Desouza by Adolfo Chavez