5 Minutes With David Hall, head chef at Pure South

29 March, 2016 by
Danielle Bowling

Pure South Dining might be located in Melbourne’s Southbank, but it calls the Apple Isle home. Since its inception 11 years ago, it’s had a steadfast commitment to the producers of high quality ingredients from Tasmania, King Island and Flinders Island.

I became a chef because when I was a child, I was around food all the time. My father was a chef and every night we had a home cooked meal which I always help out with, so I fell in love with food from an early age.

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I decided to come to Australia when my partner Aimee told me we were going! Well, that's sort of true. We had always planned to travel and we both decided Australia was the place to go. I had heard a lot about restaurants in Australia and there seemed to be some exciting things happening. So after 10 months of travelling through Africa, India, China and south east Asia we arrived here and have loved it ever since.

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Pure South is in Melbourne but we're all about Tassie. That’s because I believe it has some of the best produce in the world. At Pure South I get to work with some of the best fish, meat and dairy on a daily basis. It all comes from independent farmers and artisans and I love the personal relationships that Pure South has with these suppliers, which have been built up over a number of years. Having recently visited Tasmania I felt it to be a lot like back home in Scotland and I believe the produce is of the same quality. They also have some great whiskey which is good for a Scotsman!

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I’m loving the fruit that we’ve been getting from Tasmania lately. We’ve been getting some of the best plums I have ever eaten! On any given day we’ll get a call from a small producer offering us three kilos of josterberries, for example, which is something I had never heard of. It's then exciting for us to come up with dishes that get the best from that ingredient.

Diners are really starting to take notice of provenance. Even at the local markets I’ve noticed customers asking the butcher what breed the pork is and what farm it is from. That's one thing that’s great about Pure South … because of our close relationships with producers, we know a lot about our food – from the breed of the pigs to the waters the octopus is caught in.