Jake Kellie, former head chef at The Lakeside Mill in regional Victoria, has taken on a role working under Dave Pynt at Burnt Ends in Singapore.
Currently ranked number 70 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Burnt Ends offers Modern Australian barbeque delivered by custom-built four tonne, dual cavity ovens and three elevation grills.
Kellie was named the 2015 Appetite for Excellence Young Chef of the Year and a finalist in The Age Good Food Guide Young Chef of the Year category, and while travelling in 2016, he met with Pynt in Singapore. Just a week later, a job offer hit his inbox.
“When he told me it was the head chef job, I was like, ‘Whoa, are you serious?’ I couldn’t believe the opportunity. I spoke to a few people whose opinion I respect, then jumped at it,” Kellie told Appetite for Excellence.
Kellie, who’s previously worked at Maze, Aria Sydney, The Commoner in Fitzroy and at Scott Pickett’s Estelle Bistro, said Burnt Ends represents an exciting step in his career.
“Coming to Burnt Ends means dealing with a new style of cooking but I’m really ambitious and am excited to do new food. And having someone like Dave beside me and mentoring me along the way made this the perfect next step.”
Kellie was previously leading the team at The Lakeside Mill in Packenham, Victoria, offering a menu that championed local producers.
He helped launch the venue in February last year, at just 26 years of age. When Hospitality spoke with him in April, he said he believes taking risks and gaining experience are essential for any aspiring chef.
“When I was 23, I had guys older than me who were working under me, and it was probably the hardest thing I’ve come across, to be honest. Trying to get people to respect you and work for you at that age was quite hard,” he said.
“There will always be a hump that you have to get over, but as a chef you just have to build and build with more experience.
“A lot of people say ‘Are you ready?’ Do you want to take the plunge?’ Well, there’s an old saying, you’ve got to risk it to get the biscuit. If you want to be successful in this industry, you’ve got to take that plunge, and I’m doing it while I’m young.”