No doubt you’ve had the pleasure of tasting one (and hopefully many) of Chef Kelvin Andrews’ exceptional dishes and if not, do yourself a favour.
The former Gold Coaster has headed up and worked within culinary teams in some of the Coast’s most revered restaurants including Nineteen at The Star, The Fish House and Hellenika.
He recently made the move to Brisbane where he’ll be Head Chef at SK Steak & Oyster in The Calile, so we sat down for a chat to learn as much as we could about the newbie.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I have been a Goldy local for 16 years; I’m originally from a country town called Tully in Far North Queensland!
You recently moved to Brisbane but what did you love most about living here?
It’s got to be the beach, I take it for granted and never got to go as much as I should have, but the feeling of walking on the sand barefoot in the morning listening to music was very therapeutic. I will miss that feeling for sure.
What do you love most about your work as a Chef?
I guess it would be the whole aspect of hospitality, I followed in my mother’s footsteps as she was a chef and restaurateur and she instilled that passion in me, so I love cooking and looking after people.
You’re set to head up the culinary team at SK Steak & Oyster within The Calile in Brisbane soon, what can you tell us about the newbie?
SK Steak & Oyster has been a passion project for Simon Gloftis and myself for years; we wanted to create a restaurant like the old school days when we were growing up in the industry with classic service – think white table cloths, white waiters jackets, someone playing piano, a dessert trolley being pushed around – with a casual yet elegant feel about it all. We want to bring back the classic dining scene and take a break from the more modern style restaurants.
You were in the States recently for a holiday slash tasting tour, did you bring any ideas back you’ll be showcasing there?
We did. America still has classic restaurants like you see in old 90s films so we went there to see how they operate and get a feel for them. Once we were there we realised that was exactly what we wanted to do… with our own twist of course.
How will this venue be unique?
Everything about this restaurant is unique; it has a very casual yet elegant Palm Springs vibe including Walter Knoll saddle leather chairs, a baby grand piano that’s played Friday and Saturday nights (people can stand around it and have a few drinks before dinner), plus we have a Juliet balcony that looks down from the mezzanine level over the piano. Oh and a huge custom built dry-age meat fridge which will be a feature in the room.
What are your predictions for SE QLD’s foodie scene over the next few years?
I think the sustainability movement is massive and we are huge advocates for that. Chefs and restaurateurs need to learn more about our produce, and where it comes from, ethical farming practices and reducing carbon footprint, its been at play for a few years now but it will be huge on everyone’s menus, from bars to clubs to restaurants soon. Hopefully we can minimalise wastage and utilise all parts of the products we buy.
What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
I love cooking with fresh produce and vegetable heavy. Usually I start by picking my vegetables first and my protein last. I love experimenting with Asian flavours, I haven’t really professionally cooked Asian food so in my down time I love to try new things.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Coffee spot: Nook in Burleigh, then a light stroll on the beach is my zen time
Cafe for breakfast: Alfreds; their breakfast burrito, it’s everything you want for breakfast in a wrap, what can go wrong?
Restaurant for dinner: Hellenika; a fresh piece of fish and salad and Bougatsa (warm custard pastry) if I’m feeling naughty, which is every time
How does your weekend usually look: If I’m not working, I‘m sleeping or eating, I like to over indulge on my days off