We are kicking off our 'GET TO KNOW YOUR CHEF' - a series of meet and greets designed to showcase our brilliant local chefs and kitchen staff in the Whitsundays area. We would love to put the spotlight on your restaurant, café or take away business. Speak to your sales rep for more details on how to boost your business profile and allow them to see a behind the scenes into your kitchen and highlight how amazing your staff are. See below for our first chef interview.
Introducing……Hanzel Martinez – Chef Extraordinaire at Fish D’ Vine Restaurant who has worked in some of the most elite restaurants across Australia. Anyone wanting a great meal out don’t look past Fish D’Vine – Hanzel’s expertise, experience and approach to cooking make it hands down one of the finest venues to eat out in Airlie.
Take a few minutes to read about his career and future aspirations:
Dan: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Hanzel. How long have you worked in a kitchen and what parts of Australia have you cheffed in?
Hanzel: Ive worked in this industry for 19 years, spent my time working on Hamilton Island, Flying Fish Restaurant, Crystal Palace catering company in Sydney (Luna Park), also at the Longrain restaurant in Sydney.
Dan: What motivated you to become a Chef?
Hanzel: I grew up with food, watching my Grandmother cook and also my father and it made me want to get into cooking.
Dan: What do you consider your ‘secret weapon’spice or ingredient?
Hanzel: Garlic and Pepper would have to be my favourite ingredients to use in cooking, probably because of my Filipino background.
Dan: Has the chef life been everything that you thought it would be?
Hanzel: Yes, definitely. There are always some ups and downs with cooking but the great part of it is when seeing a guest at our restaurant that has that smile on their face, telling you what a great meal it was and that it exceeded their expectations!
Dan: If you had a chance to own your own restaurant what would you call it and what style of foods would you like to specialise in?
Hanzel: If I had my own restaurant I would call it Hanzi - it would be modern cuisine using fresh ingredients and locally sourced products.
Dan: Everyone has something they like to use more than anything else in the kitchen. What would be considered to be your favourite piece of equipment or utensil in the kitchen?
Hanzel: That’s simple. A sharp knife, whisk and a good pair of tongs. Its about going back to basics and using your creativity, it all goes a long way in preparing outstanding dishes.
Dan: Have you ever cooked for any VIP’s in your time?
Hanzel: Yes I have cooked for a few. Rod Stewart, Michael Buble’ as well as some top chefs like Tetsuya, Jamie Oliver and Matt Moran.
Dan: Most of us know how full on kitchens can be when they are busy. Have you had any injuries as a result of the mayhem that is ‘service’?
Hanzel: Yes definitely a few times. I have been injured as an apprentice - burning my hands, cutting my fingers when losing concentration for a split second due to pressure – but you overcome it over the years being in the kitchen. Its now made me think ahead more and try not to get into that situation so I can now avoid accidents in the kitchen.
Dan: Thanks for your time mate.
Hanzel: No worries, happy to chat anytime.