I was drawn to the industry because I love to learn — being a chef, there is always something to discover. Techniques are always changing. My proper start in a kitchen was when I first came to Australia and worked at The Apollo with Jonathan Barthelmess. I was guided in the importance of balancing dishes, using great produce and not f***ing around with it too much.
The concept behind traditional trash food is cheap, fast food that you eat while lying in bed hungover. But it doesn’t have to be crap. You can take it and make it f***ing delicious. Our take is different; it’s taking amazing ingredients and produce and transforming it into something familiar but new.
It’s quite easy to find a balance when you don’t look at trash food as s**t food. People need to understand that trash food does not have to be bad. Pizza can be seen as trash, but it is not s**t when it is done right. It is easy to balance great products with s**t ones too. Both can be elevated to become a hundred times better when they are put together. Take fried chicken and caviar, for example. The balance is putting enough s**t with the good to create that killer dish that people want to shove in their gobs day or night, drunk or sober.
I don’t think it is that important to learn rules if they are somebody else’s. I never was trained; I went straight into a kitchen and started cooking. You do need to grasp certain techniques like balancing dishes, seasoning, etcetera, but it’s more to do with understanding how you want a dish to end up — how you get there is not as important as the end product.