We sat down with our Executive Chef, Leonard Faust to talk about his role at SBCC, his vast experience spanning the globe, and we get an insight into the Atmos menu.
How did your career start?
By default, a friend asked me if I wanted to try out an apprenticeship. I wasn’t enjoying school so I decided to give it a go. It wasn’t until I was towards the end of my apprenticeship that I began to love it.
What excites you the most about being a chef?
The fact that there is so much more to being a chef than just cooking. There are also so many directions as a chef one can go. Some choose to go Executive, still loving food but also working from more of a business perspective, some choose to go culinary and work as Chef De Cuisines and create amazing food with less focus on the financials, and there are many more avenues.
What makes you so passionate about cooking?
The freedom to be able to create pretty much anything I would want to eat.
What is your career highlight?
I am lucky to have so many, but a few include:
– I have prepared a set caviar lunch for a Russian Zaar.
– Catered for one of Thailand’s Princesses.
– I’ve been on TV in Thailand for cooking shows and competitions.
– I created an event in Thailand to raise money for the Australian bushfires last year and it sold out.
What does it involve being the Executive Chef of Shoal Bay Country Club?
The role itself evolves with demand. Currently the role is more of a development role in terms of implementation of new food management systems, developing the food safety standards, working tightly with suppliers for best quality / prices, menu creation, new restaurant planning and opening (currently Atmos).
What is your favourite dish on the SBCC menu?
I always go for the Barramundi; I don’t like eating heavily at work so this light dish hits the spot. The crisp skin matches well with the salad, the tender fish itself a great compliment to the salsa verde which is made from herbs and has a nice tang.
When I feel more peckish I will go for the ribs; they are both tender and still maintain that elasticity, the sauce is to die for and the chips soak up the remaining sauce well.
Is there anything about working in a kitchen that you think would surprise people?
How civil it can be in the kitchen these days.
Who is the most famous chef you’ve worked with? What did you learn from them?
Most of the chefs I have worked with were through promotions that we had done with overseas hotels, Michelin star chefs invited for dinners and other Executive chefs from the hotel group.
The most important thing I have learnt was that the career of a Chef can be taken a lot higher than people may think. The level of detail, organisation and food safety are the main things I have taken away from them, as well as new cuisine ideas.
What do you always have in your pantry at home?
Rice, garlic, curry pastes, eggs.
What’s your go-to comfort meal?
John West flavoured tuna mini tins with rice for a quickie. Otherwise, nothing beats a real good roast.
Tell us about your experiences working overseas.
I spent 15 years in Thailand, working in hotels picking up different skills here and there. This experience taught me how to run food and beverage operations on a large scale, while ensuring that each restaurant was tailored to a specific customer. I also learned to cook many different cuisines across South East Asia and Europe.
What can you tell us about the Atmos menu?
Atmos will take you on a culinary journey to Greece. The food and the recipes are centred on solid basic culinary pillars of homestyle cooking, family recipes, and authenticity. In Greece it’s traditional to share; so, we have created sharing menus that take you on a discovery of local flavours.
Check out the Atmos menu here.