1. What was your first job in hospitality
There is a chain of French patisseries in Australia called Michelle’s Patisserie and I worked there. I had to wear a red beret, I was 15 and I sold people pastries and coffee.
2. What is your favourite type of cuisine to eat – preferably not the one you work with?
I love Vietnamese food, I love just going for a Pho.
3. Which dish do you most associate with childhood?
Oh god, that’s a hard one. Probably something really basic like Vegemite on toast because that is really Australian and that’s what I grew up eating before school and what not.
4. What’s the soundtrack to your first love?
The first boy that I ever loved was when I was 15 or 16 and we used to listen to hard-core rap, like Dr. Dre, Easy E and NWA. So I don’t have a specific song but that kind of genre. We’d sit in his room and smoke loads of weed and just listen to Easy E, it was really fun.
5. What do you crave after a long shift?
A glass of red wine and just sitting down and chilling out.
6. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – what do you have?
I have whatever the chefs decide to make (laughing). If I don’t eat at The Clove Club for breakfast, then I don’t have breakfast.
7. What is your favourite word?
Probably fuck. I say it a lot.
8. If you could go on a culinary extravaganza-eating holiday, where would you choose to do so?
I would probably go to the U.S. I guess. My one place that I have to eat at before I die is Alinea in Chicago. I mean if I had all the money in the world I would probably go and do that and then eat around the U.S.
9. All at the same time or coursed out?
Coursed out, definitely.
10. What is the one area of working in a restaurant you wish you knew more of?
Probably the food side of things. I listen to Isaac (McHale) speak and he’s probably the smartest person foodwise that I have ever had a conversation with. He knows everything about everything and it's so inspiring to listen to him speak. Not even just about making the food but also the history of food. Everything. It’s amazing. So I kind of wish that I could be better on that side of things.
11. What is the best cure for a hangover?
12. You’re allowed one shift drink – what is it?
I’d probably just sit and have a glass of red. I’m pretty boring like that. Or maybe a gin and tonic.
13. What is the one thing which guests do that drives you mad?
There are so many. But I guess people who are impolite. I hate people who forget their please and thank you’s, it really just grinds my gears. Manners is a huge thing for me, especially working in reservations, it goes noticed when people don’t say please or thank you or when people are late and don’t apologise or show up with three extra people and expect you to accommodate, it’s like ‘come on guys, what are you doing?’
14. Do you have any rituals during a shift?
Not really, I guess I like to have everything in place and I always have my tea with me.
15. What’s the last film you saw?
I watched the Fifth Element. But in the cinema they were showing a late night screening of The Craft at Hackney Picture House and I went by myself and it was awesome. It was an 11pm screening and I had gotten off work early and it was just perfect.
16. Best thing that has ever happened to you in a restaurant?
I guess workwise being promoted at The Clove Club was pretty awesome, because I do have a pretty good job as far as I am concerned. You know little things, like when I was younger and I was waitressing I got a $100 tip and I was like ‘Wow this is the best thing ever!’ But the best dining experience I have ever had was at The Ledbury. It was so incredible. I went there for my birthday last year and it was just flawless. That for me really motivates me to want to do my job better, because I am like ‘oh my god, these people really know what they are doing’ and I walked away from that and just felt incredible.
17. What’s your tagline/motto?
I probably don’t apply it to myself that much, but Rupaul says ‘If you can’t love yourself how the hell is someone else going to love you’ that one is good, I like that.
18. Photography while eating – yay or nay?
Oh definitely. Yay. I am all for it.
19. Rank the following in order of priority: wine, food, sex
Oh god, that is so hard. I am going to sound like such a loser if I say this, but probably food, sex, wine. It’s nice getting laid, but if I can eat and get laid at the same time I would be a pretty happy woman.
20. What would be your last meal – drinks included.
When I was young my Mum would always make a really really good Spaghetti Bolognese and it was just something that I loved so much. And even now I’ll be like ‘Ugh I just want my Mum’s spag bol!’ so I would probably have something like that. Drinkwise I would probably just have a coca cola, I am such a sucker for a coca cola. I am trying to cut it down but I drink so much coke it’s ridiculous. My sugar intake is through the roof.
21. What makes you happy?
Spending time with my family. I don’t get to see them that often now that I live here and they live in Australia. They were here for Christmas and that makes me happy. I also really like hanging out by myself, I am really comfortable with my own company. So I like just hanging at home, doing a Netflix binge. I used to go out and party a lot but I don’t have the same friends and now it’s just about really appreciating my time. And I do sound like a big loser saying this, but I really enjoy being at work because I think I have the best job in the world. Plus my bosses are awesome and I am not just saying that because they will probably see this, I genuinely do love being at work.
22. How do you relax?
In the bath, I take 4 baths a week. I love being in the bath and I could be in the bath for an hour. Take my book or watch an episode of something and just chill out in the bath.
23. What is the background on your phone?
24. Favourite Instagram accounts to follow
25. What is the best thing about working in hospitality?
The people obviously. I feel really fortunate because I work with people like Johnny Smith and Daniel Willis who are such charismatic people. For me The Clove Club is the best place I have ever worked. The networking side and learning about things. Like I was saying about Isaac before, for me he is the best chef I have ever met. Yes sometimes he can be really really difficult, but I find it a privilege to work with someone like him. So that is also a really amazing side of it. Learning more about this industry is also great.
26. Which restaurant are you ashamed to NOT have eaten at?
Lyles. Yeah, I know. Embarrassing.
27. Who is the person you most respect in the industry?
Um, I have a lot of respect for basically any female chef because if I had the patience and the time I would probably have liked to have gone into cooking, but its not me. I just really love reading about women in the industry. It's not just one person, I think any woman in this industry that is kind of giving it their best is incredible, like Angela Hartnett or Claire Smith from Gordon Ramsay. I actually think Claire is amazing. She has this reputation for being an absolute ball breaker and I really love that. I read this article where she was saying that she has worked really hard to get to the position she is in and I just think that is really cool. I think women in powerful positions in the hospitality industry are really cool.
28. What is your go to party trick?
Putting a Malteser on my lips and making it hover.
29. Finish this sentence: I eat everything except ...
Onions and shallots