Feeling Chilli: Q&A with Peregian Beach Hotel’s Matt Holt
Name: Matt Holt
Position: Head Chef
Restaurant: Peregian Beach Hotel
How and why did you decide on a career as a chef?
Surf in the morning, work at night, eat at work, fraternise with the opposite sex…seemed like a smart idea at 17!
Where have you previously worked? And what are some of your career highlights?
Doing my apprenticeship at Sheraton Perth during America’s Cup in the 80s was where it all began. Being a young chef at Vasse Felix & having a dish featured in Gourmet Traveller was a highlight; as was driving one of Janet Holmes à Court’s vintage Jaguars and never running out of good wine! Naturally, meeting my gorgeous wife during my 10 years working at Café Le Monde is up there too.
What do you love the most about being a chef?
The crazy atmosphere and the constant flow of creativity necessary
to survive each & every shift. The bonds you build with your colleagues in such a pressured environment.
How would you describe your approach to food?
No fuss, honest, coastal & Asian inspired. Surfer food!
Who is your favourite local producer/producers?
There are so many and it can be hard yards for the reps trying to get a foot
in the door. Currently very happy with Suncoast Fresh, Fresh Meats, Mooloolah River Fisheries,
Essential Grain & Markris.
Do you think it is important to use local produce and why?
Definitely. Reducing our carbon footprint and we have the best quality produce available locally.
What has been the most rewarding moment of your career so far?
Being a part of such an awesome team putting Peregian Beach Hotel on the food map!
Who is your inspiration when it comes to culinary creations?
Our Asian neighbours.
Do you cook at home and if so, what do you like to cook?
Love cooking for family & friends!!
If not BBQ, then curry.
Who would you love to cook for?
If she was still with us, my Mum. Otherwise Scarlett Johansen.
What are the highlights of your latest menu?
Our organic beef short rib jungle curry…will knock a cold or flu flat out!
What is your favourite kitchen tool?
Mortar & pestle
What is your favourite ingredient?
Chilli! And let’s be honest I love my kaffir lime leaves & lemongrass too.