We are super excited to introduce you to our new Head Chef Graham Paul. We thought we’d put him under the spotlight and get him to answer a few questions so you can get to know him a little better. Read on for his Q&A!
Why did you become a chef?
When I was little living in Sri Lanka with my family, my parents owned a hotel. I spent many hours cooking alongside my mother, who was the chef. This is where my passion for cooking first came to life. I started out by just cutting fruit and vegetables to help my mother out, but soon started to experiment with cooking curries and basically messing things up in the kitchen. From a young age I loved to create new things and present great food to customers and my family. It gave me great joy to see people enjoying my food, and this has not changed over the years.
Where have you worked in your career?
I have been fortunate enough to have worked for so many great restaurants and cafes and have not only gained experience through these but have also made many great friends along the way. Here are some of the amazing places I have worked over the years.
- Ashscotts restaurant Berwick
- Crown Melbourne in the Crown Tower room serviced kitchen, Conservatory, Mahogany Room, Cotta, Margo’s Cafe and Mesh
- Beachcomber Cafe, St Kilda
- Blake’s Feast catering
- Momentum Cafe
What are some of your favourite styles of food to cook?
I love to cook so many things but just to name a few – great creamy pastas, American-style barbecues, curries and I love to make crusty homemade bread.
You’ve made a wonderful wedding cake recently – are desserts a speciality for you and what do you like to create?
Although desserts are not my specialty, it was such a wonderful opportunity to make the cake for the happy couple. It turned out really well and the couple were extremely pleased with their cake.
What makes you excited about being at Boon Wurrung Cafe and Tarnuk Room function space?
We get to create different specials every day for the cafe, and design seasonal menus according to the clientele. I love being able to cook and create amazing banquet-style menus for weddings and corporate events. As well, we get to work with a really talented and passionate team.
Funniest moment as a chef?
My funniest memory happened years ago, when I was just an apprentice. On this particular day, our head chef was really angry at the staff. So, he threw eggs at us! Of course, I threw one back. Soon, everyone started throwing eggs, left, right and centre. It was very funny but such a mess. The head chef left for the day and we were left there cleaning up the whole mess, but it was well worth it for the laugh and great memory.
What do you like to cook at home?
So cooking at home can be a little tricky as my fiancé is a health nut. Therefore it’s usually either something like a fresh seared salmon fillet served with brown rice and snow peas, or chicken tacos served with Danish feta, salsa in a cos lettuce leaf, or something ridiculously healthy.
What is your ideal meal?
Although I don’t cook or eat it often, like most people I love a good lobster. I also have loved caviar on the rare times I’ve had it.
Graham has put together a great new summer menu for Boon Wurrung Cafe. Come in and sample it for yourself on your next visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne. Call 5990 2247 to book a table.
Download our new menu by clicking the button below.