-By Kim Parnell-
Let’s meet the chef.
Tell us a little about your background.
Firstly, let me say how excited I am to be at Smokey Joes Café. I am originally from Mauritius. Initially, I lived in Melbourne for eighteen years, working in various restaurants, including fine dining establishments. My partner and I then relocated to Brisbane before falling in love with Hervey Bay following the covid outbreak. We purchased a house here and have been blessed with two gorgeous kids.
To my delight, I have been the Executive Chef at Smokey Joe’s for seven months now. It has offered me a real opportunity to showcase my skills, and I feel patrons have loved my vibrant menu.
What are some of the changes that you have implemented?
It was wonderful to introduce a semi-fine dining experience featuring delectable items such as ribs, burgers, and Southern fried chicken waffles. Additionally, a selection of pasta dishes while still primarily focusing on classic American cuisine.
What does the restaurant pride itself on?
One of the many facets our restaurant prides itself on is using the highest quality ingredients. particularly when it comes to our steak. We source our black angus, porterhouse, and rib fillet from a trusted local butcher. Our commitment to quality extends to our produce as well – every item purchased is carefully selected to meet our high standards. Our quality of food is impeccable and real value for money.
Tell us about your biggest sellers.
Delighted to say our menu currently boasts a range of delectable dishes. The steak is very popular. Come and enjoy our weekly specials, as our menu is always changing to offer something new. Last month, we served a Moroccan-style lamb shank with dates, served on a bed of couscous, reminiscent of a tagine. Guests loved it. For me, I enjoy cooking with fish. Barramundi is one of my top picks. We receive fresh Barramundi every Thursday, which is exciting for our customers and myself.
You will love our current featured winter specials. Comforting winter warmers. Lamb shanks and pumpkin soup – just delicious on a winter night. I love Italian dishes too. My new invention, Eggplant Parmigiana, will be added to our monthly specials.
I like very colourful dishes that are full of flavour.
How do you accommodate the dietary restrictions and preferences of your customers?
All our dishes are made from scratch, and we offer gluten-free options for most items on the menu. Currently, we have two delicious vegan dishes available, including a Cauliflower Floret served with coconut yogurt, cranberries, pine nuts, and Dukkah, a flavourful Middle Eastern spice mix. At Smokey Joes Café, we value our customers and strive to provide them with the best possible experience.
What is your favourite style of cooking?
I love to cook classic dishes that I then present in my own way by maybe adding an ingredient or two. You can’t beat the classical way. My favourite chef in the world is Grant Achatz from the Alinea Restaurant in Chicago. He is into molecular gastronomy. He has three Michelin Stars, and what he can do in a kitchen is amazing.
What is most rewarding about being a chef?
I find great joy in serving food and witnessing the happiness it brings to customers. It’s fulfilling to see them return and receive compliments on their meal. Food is my passion, and I appreciate both its taste and aesthetics. To truly appreciate the art of cooking, it must be treated with respect.