Originally from Perth WA, Dave comes from a heavy weight culinary background, staging and working under legends such as Tetsuya Wakuda (Tetsuya’s and Waku Ghin), Rene Redzepi (Noma), Victor Arguinzoniz (Asador Etxebarri), Nuno Mendes (Viajante and The Loft Project) and Fergus Henderson (St John and St John Bread and Wine) to name but a few. Plus the much talked about filming with super chef Raymond Blanc, were Dave told Raymond “first we need to burn the shit out of the leek”.
Dave studied at TAFE West Coast Institute of Training, while doing an apprenticeship in a popular restaurant in Perth. After graduation in 2005 Dave got his first serious job at Tetsuya’s in Sydney as Chef de Partie; the same year the restaurant was ranked #4 World’s 50 Best Restaurant and Best Restaurant in Australia in the S.Pellegrino list. Working alongside Chef Tetsuya Wakuda gave him the opportunity to sharpen his culinary technique and even to this day sitting next to him at the Asia 50 best 2015, Dave noted he still gets a little star struck and was honored and grateful to work under him all those years back.
Dave’s career took a major turn when he was hired as sous-chef by Hadleigh Troy Chef/owner of Restaurant Amusé, an award winning modern Australian restaurant located in Perth. An intense year of high responsibilities and constant innovation for the restaurant remains a memorable and unforgettable experience for him.Like all great chefs, Dave knows the only way to gain experience and develop his skills was to travel and learn from different cultures, styles and ingredients when cooking. So with this in mind in 2010 Dave headed to Denmark where he staged at Noma – #1 World’s 50 Best Restaurant in the S.Pellegrino list from 2010, 2012 & 2014. “My immersion into Scandinavian cooking has been eye opening, this is when I realised all the possibilities I could make out of the ingredients I am working with everyday”.
After 4 months in Demark Dave decided his next and unknowingly most important trip, which would pave the way to he’s future style in cooking, He headed south to the Spanish Basque region to discover Chef Victor Arguinzoniz’s world of cooking with wood grills and ovens. Asador Etxebarri – #31 World’s 50 Best Restaurants in the 2014. Traditional Basque cuisine executed and cooked to perfection. During his time there, Dave discovered his passion for cooking out of a fire and the technical skills this exercise requires.Dave ended his European tour in London where he met the iconic Chef Fergus Henderson and his accomplice Trevor Gulliver,owners of the St John Group. At St John Bread and Wine, Dave learnt “The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating” Chef Fergus Henderson’s cook book described as the “Ulysses of the wholeSlow Foodmovement” by The New Yorker.
In 2011 Dave met Chef Nuno Mendes head chef of then Viajante and now Chiltern St. Fire House. Together they worked and ran “The Loft Project” a high profile underground supper club setup for up and coming chefs to showcase their talents in a unique and intimate setting in East London. At the same time, Dave cooperated with Chef Nuno to implement “The Long Table”; a night food market offering a hand-picked selection of London’s finest street food, along with a bar and live music every Friday of the week.
In spring 2012 Dave took residency at the “Climpson & Sons Roaster’s” courtyard where he installed an outdoor wood fired oven that he designed and built himself, and called it “Burnt Enz”, Dave did nothing but grill, everything from scallops to leeks and suckling pig. Dave’s philosophy was and remains to stay true to his Spanish mentor Chef Victor, where the grill is done over wood fire and the flame is masterly adjusted according to the ingredients. On weekends the restaurant was serving up to 350 covers a day from 2pm till late with a well-stocked bar serving a wide range of beers, wines and cocktails and accompanied by a local DJ. On “Thirsty Thursday” Dave was offering a 5-course banquet style menu showcasing the freshest produce from the market available on the day. Over the summer Burnt Enz hosted some of the UK’s best young talents such as Junya Yamasaki of Koya, James Knappett of Bubbledogs and Ben Spalding formerly of Roganic and participated on a BBC TV show with Chef Raymond Blanc. From that success in 2012 it was brought to Singapore by some finger on the pulse backers, “Unlisted Collections” and now after two years Burnt Ends SG is growing from strength to strength and reached No.30 in the San Pellegrino Asia’s 50 Best 2015. Dave wished to create a chilled and relax atmosphere where his guests can gather in the company of friends with a drink and enjoyed excellent food made with the best available produce, which he has achieved.
Over the last two years in Singapore Dave has also been able to do some personal projects with Burntends and was invited overseas to be part of “E5 Bakery Music and Food Festival”, “Meatopia” in London, “Postrivoro” in Italy, back on home turf at “Restaurant Amuse’” in Perth, “Wonderfruit Music Festival” in Thailand, Qunci Villas in Lombok and also to Melbourne for the Highway One Street Party, plus Dave is looking forward to being a part of Gastronomika in San Sebastian with the theme of Singapore and Hong Kong!
Describe your culinary philosophy in 4 words…
Tasty, simple, quality and integrity
Whatis your greatest inspiration?
If you could take a plane ride to any restaurant in the world, just for one meal, where would you go?
Javier Wong, Lima, Peru
What three things would you take to a desert island?
A knife, cold beer and matches.
- No.30 in the San Pellegrino Asia”s 50 Best 2015
20 Teck Lim Rd