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Chef Revelations – Greg Malouf

03 August 2012

What was your first job?
My dad got me a job training to be a land surveyor. It was a total disaster as all I wanted to do was cook. I lasted two days then ran away from home to work in a Spanish restaurant in Sydney.

What do you do to relax?
Listen to Frank Zappa or watch my beloved Carlton (Australian Rules Football)

What's your favourite restaurant?
Yung Kee, a goose restaurant in Hong Kong where they serve an amazing roast goose noodle soup

What's your favourite cuisine?
Lebanese, no question

Which ingredient do you hate the most?
Almond essence

What's your favourite drink?
Dalwhinnie single malt whisky

What would be your last supper?
Lebanese mezza, but especially lamb kibbeh nayee - which is a Middle Eastern beef tartare, but using raw lamb, combined with spices and a little cracked wheat

Which person in catering have you most admired?
Most of the old guard Michelin chefs from the 1970s and 1980s - the Roux brothers, Michel Guérard, Roger Vergé, Ferdinand Point, etc

Cast away on a desert island, what luxury would you take?
A never-ending supply of silk pyjamas and white linen shirts

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Gregory Peck, Jerry Lewis and hot Italian actress Caterina Murino

Which person gave you the greatest inspiration?
Claudia Roden

What daily newspaper/website do you read?
I haven't yet got out of the habit of reading Melbourne's The Age

What is your favourite prepared food product?
Fried chicken wings with toum and of course falafel

If not yourself, who would you rather have been?
My brother, who's intelligent, witty and generous

Describe your ultimate nightmare
Missing a Michelin inspector's visit

Who would play you in a film about your life?
If he were still alive, I'd nominate Gregory Peck. In fact my mum had a real crush on him and I was named after him.

Who would be in your fantasy brigade?
Sally Clarke, Clarke's, London; Ben Shewery, Attica, Melbourne; Andrew McConnell, Cutler and Co, Melbourne; Michel Roux

If you had more time, what would you do?
Let my beard grow thicker, longer and whiter (the last part is already happening), wear more white linen

Greg Malouf, head chef, Petersham Nurseries Cafe, Richmond

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