Matt Donovan – Surf Club Restaurant & Bar

Comments (0) Interviews

Matt, you’re a legendary chef around town. What do you love the most about cooking in this wonderful part of the world?
Thank you! The view from our restaurant is second to none, and having a surf before work to cool me down before a stressful but enjoyable day leading our talented kitchen team.

Cue back to the beginning – what made you want to become a chef?
I was lucky enough to get an apprenticeship with legendary Swiss chef Martin Moser, originally owner of Avanti Restaurant on the Jetty Strip and learned all the traditional techniques from him. I love restaurants and dining out and the buzz of service.
Tell us something we wouldn’t know about Surf Club Restaurant & Bar.
We employ over 30 staff (some full-time, some casual) and hold over 30 wedding receptions each year. We serve takeaway, do offsite catering to offices and run a conference facility. We also contract Lauryn Nicholls of Social Media Butterfly to handle our online presence, which is of paramount importance these days. It is too big a job to do ourselves, and we find more and more people find us via our website and Facebook page.

You also do functions. Tell us who this type of venue would appeal to?
A wnyone wanting a party or wedding reception for between 60 and 200 people. The venue is totally private and very unique, with absolute ocean views. We also have a private purpose built conference room available Monday to Friday.

When you’re at home, what do you cook?
I have up to nine children to cook for most nights, so we do a lot of barbecues, roasts and Mexican! If I’m just cooking for my partner, Renae, we love to grill some fresh seafood with a simple salad and a glass (or two) of Pinot Gris.

How important is fresh local produce in the work that you do?
Extremely. We use many different local suppliers and are lucky enough to be able to handpick our produce. There are more and more amazing local lines being produced all the time, which is such an asset to our region. It keeps our specials board alive and fresh.
Some of our regulars don’t bother reading the menu, as they know our specials are always the best of the best that can be cooked on the day.
Thank you, Melly, and we hope to see you up for lunch soon!

6652 9870.

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