Chef’s Secrets – Ian Curley (The Weekly Review)

IAN CURLEY is the executive chef of The European Group and owner of Kirk’s Wine Bar. Besides overseeing 10 venues and 12 kitchens, he is an ambassador for Golf Australia, Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. He also helped establish Youth Projects, a drop-in centre that provides medical care and support for the mentally ill and homeless. A crusader for local produce, he loves golf above just about everything — except his wife and two daughters.


GO-TO CAFE \ The Pantry in Brighton is my go-to place for pretty much everything. It’s great from breakfast to dinner and covers every base, whether you’re dining with friends or family.

LATE NIGHTS \ Paradise Alley, Collingwood. Laura Twomey, the owner, worked for us for ages and she’s fantastic. I really like what she’s doing with her place in Collingwood. I recommend checking it out!

DUCK\ I really like cooking duck lasagne — as the meat goes a long way, it’s excellent value, and it has great flavour. You can use all cuts of the meat; it’s delicious.

GOLF FEEDS \ The food at the National Golf Club by Craig Gorton is as good as anywhere on the Mornington Peninsula. Try his Asian menu, you will agree.

NEW HOT SPOT\ I’m looking forward to trying Chris Lucas’ new place, Kisume, his Japanese restaurant in Flinders Lane. I admire what he’s doing in Melbourne restaurants.

COOKING AT HOME \ My best meal of the week is eating with my kids. It reminds me why I do what I do for a living and puts a smile on my face.