Masterchef S01 ep10: Liam Tomlin, Tomlin Restaurant, [Sydney]
Interview with Liam Tomlin
In Switzerland I worked in the Hotel Central in Zurich and It was there I met chef Bruno Enderlich. He was someone who took you under his wing and explained to you about produce, and explained to you about seasons. Everything you did, Bruno would just come along and do something to it and it would change the whole dish entirely. He pushed himself. For example on his days off he would go work for Freddie Girardet and they he would come back and tell us about this guy Freddie Girardet.
I was born and bought up in Dublin, and at about the age of 15 I was asked to
At the time I had some friends who were in the industry and who had left
school the year before just like myself and it seemed like an interesting job.
I started off in a great hotel in Dublin, which is no longer there called the Royal
Hyperion hotel as a kitchen porter and then eventually I got an apprenticeship.
In those days there was not a great interest in food or in restaurants or in
dinning out in Ireland, it was very limited as well as to where you could go.
From there I went to Switzerland and worked in the Hotel Central in Zurich and
it was there I met a chef called Bruno Enderlich and it was working along side
him that really inspired me and really turned me around.
He was just someone who took you under his wing and explained to you about
produce, and explained to you about seasons. Everything you did, Bruno
would just come along and just do something to it and it would change the
whole dish entirely.
He was somebody who I would say that pushed himself the whole time. For
example on his days off he would go work for Freddie Girardet and they he
would come back and tell us about this guy Freddie Girardet who I didn't have
a clue who Freddie Girardet was. He was always trying to better himself, he
was always looking for better produce to work with, and he was always
pushing the kitchen to be better. He always led by example, he was always the
first in the kitchen, and he was always the last to leave. He was experimenting
with every menu he did…. I still carry a lot of what he taught me to this day.
He did not change dishes for the sake of changing them, he changed them for
seasonal changes or if he could not do a dish better he left it as it was rather
than playing around with it or fussing with it. He was a very, very passionate
Working alongside him I started to push myself more, I started getting to work
earlier. I really loved what I was doing. I wasn't looking at it as a job anymore,
it wasn't something I went to and got paid at the end of the week. It was
something I really wanted to make a go of, and I remember I would get at
home at night and sit down for 2 or 3 hours and write recipes. It is then that
you know that you've got a passion. You start hearing about different chef's in
Europe and you start buying their books, reading about it: and it just… takes a
grip of you.
I remember buying "Cuisine Naturelle" by Anton Mosiman. I remember
standing in the kitchen in Zurich with Bruno Enderlich and going through this
book and he was just like… He is just like El Boulet is today. He had just taken
it that step forward, and I remember everybody standing in the kitchen looking
through the book was totally in awe of what he was doing.
The other two great chefs that inspired me would be the Roux Brothers - with
New Classical Cuisine. It was probably one of the first books I ever bought and
it is probably the most worn out book that I've got now because I always refer
back to it.
I've been in Australia about 11 years now. I went to Melbourne and I started at
Le Restaurant in the Regent Hotel and it was one of the most inspirational
kitchens I've been in. They were using chillies, or pickled ginger, fresh ginger,
cafa lime leaves. It was a whole new way of thinking.
We have a very close knit group of suppliers here who understand exactly
what we want like they do in Europe and I work very, very closely with them. I
get what we want before it goes out of the country.
When I do a dish, I always look at the dish and try to take something away
from it rather than add to it. So I always try and keep the food as simple as
possible, I try to let the produce speak for itself. Because we have some
wonderful produce here that doesn't need to be masked and covered in heavy
sauces and lots of garnishes.
It is an art form and not everybody can do that. It is almost like a science
bringing it altogether. You've got to be able to marry the flavours together and
the textures together and the temperatures together and bring it altogether.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE:Liam Tomlin, Tomlin Restaurant, [Sydney]