I was having a bit of a Facebook chat with an online buddy one day, just shooting the shit about Brisbane restaurants and the Queensland food scene. While we were chatting, we were joined by a mutual friend, who just happens to run of of Brisbane's edgier restaurants, Nicholas Cooper from Deer Duck Bistro (see post here). By way of jumping into the conversation, Nicholas just dumped a list of names and asked us what they all had in common. Sure, I though, I'll bite. Jumping on Google, it soon became apparent that all the names on the list were from Chefs and they appeared to all be from Melbourne. My guess back to Nicholas? That they were all Collingwood supporters.
Of course I was wrong, although it did elicit a bit of a chuckle (in the form of LOL). The list was of course chefs, well known chefs from interstate, but what Nicholas had in fact given us was a list of chefs that he was inviting up to his Brisbane suburban bistro for guest stints. It was the early stages of the planning for his "Interstate Celebrity: Chefs Dinner Series" - Friends of the Duck. At the time I thought it was a great idea. Well, the Friends of the Duck celebrity chefs dinner kicked off recently and Nicholas invited me along to check out the first one. Sweet!
Nicholas himself is a talented chef from way back, and along with his very talented head chef Chris Hagen would be kicking off the series with talented Melbourne chef Mathew Macartney. Mathew has an amazing history that includes working for some incredible Australian chefs, as well as spending time overseas in Fiji, New Zealand and Dubai. Mathew has also won the title of Australia's best Sous Chef, a title where the prize was a six week appointment in any restaurant in the world. Choosing (at the time) three michelin starred New York restaurant, Daniel, the gig gave Mathew, in his own words, 'a unique opportunity to immerse myself in a different culture within one of the worlds most awarded restaurants' (see post on Daniel here).