By Clyde Mooney

In an event to rival a Masterchef challenge, eight of JJ O’Brien’s apprentice chefs held a showcase dinner last night (July 26) at The Belvedere Hotel for the eighth annual JJO Apprentice Chef Dinner.

The 1st and 2nd-year students from Ryde and Mt Druitt TAFE were led by 2008 Australian Hotels Association NSW Chef of the Year, Daniel Fountain, now JJO Group executive head chef.

“I am very passionate about what I do and for the past 15 years have been very hard on training apprentices to reach their goals while they work under me,” said Fountain.

The eight JJ O’Brien’s apprentice chefs: Emily Rogers, Ferdinand De Leon, Matthew Brown, Mairead Towner, Matthew Hill, Joshua Saez, Ian Hobson, Robert Lopez with Daniel Fountain

The event is run each year to promote service and proficiency in the food offerings of JJ O’Brien venues, which range from appetizing bar cuisine to the finest food and drink menus.

The produce used was specifically sourced locally as part of a focus on sustainability, and underpinned by the rationale that Australia produces some of the best food in the world.

“Sustainability issues are the new scene in kitchens, with more regional country kitchens doing well because they only base their menus on what produce they can get from the town they are based in,” said Fountain.

Sustainability was recently a focus for JJOs, with their immensely popular Jordan’s Seafood Restaurant forced to close due to complications with the lease agreement.

The search is well and truly on for a new location for the iconic Sydney restaurant.


The Shout Team

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