top chefs 1

Coast’s top chefs give their predictions on what the city’s dining will look like in the future

Gold Coast Bulletin, By Chantay Logan

Will carnivores become a threatened species? Are we ever going to be able to dine on the beach? And what delicious treat comes after the cronut?

We asked leading restaurant identities Simon Gloftis (Hellenika  and Nineteen at The Star), Daniel Ridgeway (Little Truffle, Gotham, Rivea and the BiN restaurants), Andrew Whiting (Elk Espresso and Sparrow Eating House), Jeremy Davidson (The Collective Palm Beach), Greg Benney (QT Gold Coast), Mitch and Nerissa McCluskey (Etsu, Iku, Commune), James Carney (Gemelli, Gemellini, Roy’s by Gemelli), Shannon and Tim Stewart (The North Room), Grant Parry (RACV Royal Pines Resort) and Morgan Walsh (Fufu, Poke Poke, The Milkman’s Daughter) to forecast our food future.


Mitch: Beach bars.

Daniel: One concept I would love to do on the GC is a beer hall similar to what you get in Europe, designed as a large, welcoming place for people of all walks of life to socialise, eat and drink. Brewing our own beer on-site, child friendly and with large indoor and outdoor spaces.

Simon: For me this question is very real. Before restaurants I had a few pretty successful coffee shops and had the chance take these all over Australia and possibly the world (remembering this was before the Starbucks and general coffee boom, so timing was perfect). I can’t believe my need to be passionate and creative beat the business side of my brain yet again.

top chefs 3The Milkman's Daughter. Morgan Walsh’s (Bonita, Fufu, Poke Poke) new plant-based restaurant in the Mermaid Beach shop once home to Vintage Espresso. Photo of Mary Steel (L) and Morgan Walsh. Photo by Richard Gosling

Andrew: I love to indulge in food and I love seeing creativity, so dessert bars are really “wow” for me. I visit a place in Melbourne called Oh Nom. It’s a dessert bar that always changes its menus and books out fast. I guess that’s why at Sparrow we love to get creative with our desserts.

Shannon: We love the idea of a little wine bar with more of an intimate snack or small plate menu (LaLune in Brisbane) and epic service.

Jeremy: So many … Sushi Train, Uber Eats and The Farm Byron Bay.

Nerissa: I wish I invented cronuts — they are delicious.

James: We like what we do because we know it and it’s in our blood. We travel Europe a fair bit and are always looking for the next best thing. If a tenancy for a beach club on the sand comes up one day in the future, we will be bidding for that for sure.

Morgan: I’m a big fan of Justin Hemmes and the Merivale group. I love their style, fit-outs and restaurant concepts. Restaurant design and concepts is what I love doing and I’m really fortunate that opportunities are coming my way to get more into that side of things. That’s my passion and hopefully you’ll see some of my work soon.

top chefs 4Three Blue ducks at The Farm, Byron Bay Mark La Brooy, Jeff bennett, Chris Sorrell (standing), Sam Reid and Darren Robertson at The Farm in Byron Bay where they train staff in CPR and first aid.


Daniel: What it should be: menus using 100 per cent sustainable food and local produce. What I want: a resurgence of fine dining where chefs can express their creativity at the highest level. What it will be: probably some new diet fad.

Simon: I’m hoping it’s more proper restaurants. I love our casual eateries, however, it’s really nice dining in a restaurant that is the complete package.

Jeremy: I would love to see the introduction of on-beach dining done properly; the type of thing that you get in the south of France or in resorts overseas. A beautiful dining experience on the beach with the sand between your toes that makes the most of the Gold Coast’s best asset.

top chefs 5Sparrow at Nobby Beach has a new winter menu, a variety of food and new fit-out. Picture Glenn Hampson

Greg: Smoking is coming in strong, low and slow. Latin flavours are also getting massive traction. Plant power seems to be the superhero of the day.

Morgan: The Gold Coast already has some great vegetarian and vegan eateries, but I feel over the next couple of years it’s only going to get better as the demand grows.

Andrew: I feel like the food delivery service is just going to keep growing. I see across the country daytime venues practically open a night time venue and concept without opening their restaurant doors to the public. The process is too easy and within 30 minute you can have restaurant-quality dishes on the couch in your uggies. This is a life hack everyone is using.

Grant: Restaurant Labart and the renovated Burleigh Beach Pavilion are definitely going to leave a dent in the up-market food scene.

top chefs 6Restaurant Labart will open in Burleigh in July and is tipped to make its mark on the food scene.

Shannon: Moving away from cheap eats and focusing on quality dining. With more demand coming through for a quality dining experience from the local and tourist market, the bar will be raised. It’s a very exciting time for the Gold Coast.

Mitch: Yakitori.

Nerissa: Zero waste — using every part of the animal and using the peel, seeds, skin of fruit and veg in unique ways.

James: Fast casual, something quick easy and healthy. Paul (Carney, Gemelli co-owner) always says Indian vegetarian will be the next big thing. Watch our space … we are working on something awesome.

Feature image: Daniel Ridgeway (Gotham, Little Truffle, BiN restaurants), Simon Gloftis (Nineteen, Hellenika), Mitchell McCluskey and Nerissa McCluskey (Commune, Etsu, Iku) give their predictions on our city’s food future. Picture: Jerad Williams

Full Story Via: Gold Coast Bulletin