“When I put food on a plate, everyone has an opinion.” Chef Grant Parry
Grant Parry is Head Chef at Videre Restaurant, one of the Gold Coast’s hidden gems offering a fine dining experience that treats you like you’re special.
Before dining, I recommend starting with a cocktail in the bar, so you can sip in style and enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Gold Coast hinterland from 21 stories up.
If you’re lucky enough to get a seat at the head table right in front of the kitchen, you’ll get a wonderful peek behind the scenes of a fine dining restaurant. Stainless steel gleams as the team of chefs prepare your order with an exacting attention to detail.
After 20 years as a chef, Grant Parry knows it takes a lot of dedication to be successful in the kitchen.
“I once spent 8 hours cutting broccoli. I hated it at the time, but now I appreciate it was an essential part of my training. When you start out you need to do lots of chopping and cutting. The repetition teaches you knife skills, it’s about connecting your knife to your hand and your eyes.
“When you’re training in a kitchen, it’s a bit like being in the army, you have to earn your stripes and do your time. You’ve got to listen and do what you’re told without questioning. Chefing is a trade and you have to earn the respect of your teachers so they’ll pass on their trade secrets.”
“There’s actually a chef shortage right now. Back when I did my training we fell over ourselves to learn a new skill. Now days there’s an attitude coming through where people expect to be ready for Master Chef after 2 weeks. When I was working for Gordon Ramsay we had a Master Chef winner join us in the kitchen but they quit after 3 days because it wasn’t what they expected!”
“Chefs have to be resilient because everyone who eats your meal has an opinion. A lot of people can’t deal with the feedback, but my training taught me to be mentally tough.”
So tell us, what was it like working for Gordon Ramsay?
There was a lot expected of us, he was very strict, one of the hardest chefs I’ve worked for, but if you lasted you were well rewarded, I was promoted very quickly. There were always celebrities walking through the kitchen which created a great buzz.
Where has your job taken you?
I spent 10 years working around the world including London, Dubai, Qatar, and the Seychelles. It was interesting in the Seychelles, I worked in a luxury resort but it was a third world country. I’m so much more open-minded thanks to the travel I’ve done. I found it fascinating how similar the food is around the world, every culture has their own version of a curry for example.
What’s your style in the kitchen?
“I try to do classic dishes with a twist. You’ve got to play to your crowd and people are less adventurous on the Gold Coast. On the other hand, I don’t like all the needless pomp you get at some restaurants, I don’t think people should have to Google ingredients before ordering a meal.
There used to be a lot more secrecy around the kitchen, but cooking shows like Master Chef means our trade is much more open now. But this has led to a bit of food snobbery because everyone thinks they’re an expert… I even had someone tell me the way I listed her meal on the menu wasn’t poetic enough.”
So, where to from here Chef?
I love living on the Gold Coast and I want to put Videre on the map. We’re starting to get some traction and social media is really helping us to get the word out. At the end of the day though, I love my job, and can’t imagine doing anything else.
Follow Chef Grant Parry on Instagram for exquisite pictures from his menu @chefgrantparry
Videre Restaurant is a Gold Coast fine dining experience not to be missed. Offering multi-award-winning European-inspired cuisine, you can dine a la carte or from their degustation menu with matched wines, or pop in for high tea. The team have just been awarded a Chefs Hat in the Australian Good Food and Travel Guide Chef Hat awards for 2017.
For Valentines Day, Videre are hosting a 5 course degustation with matching wines for $159
Hi I’m Shannon, this is my blog Eat Well Travel Often. If you enjoyed this post and want more travel and foodie inspiration you can sign up for my newsletter. I post heaps of photos on Instagram, and you’re welcome to pop into my Facebook lounge for chat about all things travel and food. Eat Well Travel Often my friend!