What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?

When I lived in New Mexico cooking dinner for my preschool teachers. I loved creating even as a child.

What, or who, would you say has inspired your cooking the most?

My good friend Bob Hagstrom was the one who originally inspired me. I was a young training Figure Skater and Bob allowed me to help him in the kitchen, catering fine dining dinner parties for extra money. Bob took his passion for food and passed it on to me. When I became a professional figure skater and traveled internationally for four years it was a culinary dream come true. I was able to experience all the food markets, restaurants, and cultures. I have been fortunate enough to have worked beside some of the most famous chefs in the world. I learn something from everyone and constantly keep learning.

Describe your culinary style…

I create every dish with a vision and a purpose. My flavors presentation and courses are planned to my perfection.

What would you say is the main focus/concept for your menu at Aubgerine.

I focus on the beauty in the area we are surrounded by. I run, hike and dream big. It is carried out in each dish. I use pure ingredients, the finest I can find and season specifically to create each bite.

What do you think makes a restaurant or menu sosuccessful?

The people. You need a passionate experienced team that wants every guests experience to be incredible. It is hard work in a kitchen and it takes every team member to work hard to make a restaurant successful. No job is to small we all make it happen.

What are your most indispensable ingredients?

That depends on the season or my current inspiration. Right now I may say Abalone.

What kind of experience do you aim to give guests when you cook for them at Aubergine?

One that leaves them satisfied and their palates inspired.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?

Oh that one is easy! I would tell myself to keep it real, not to gain 40 pounds, to stay healthy and keep family first.

What’s next for you/What’s projects do you have lined up?

OhI have a very exciting 2017 planned events, travel, running. Stay tuned and follow my website and blogs. I like to keep everyone posted with great pictures.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Running for hours, traveling, good wine and cookies.

What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?

One that I can take my family too on vacation and everyone is satisfied.

Justin will be appearing at Northcote’s Obession 17 event during 20th January – 5th February.Find out more about Justinand Obsession 17 atNorthcote here |www.northcote.com