5 minutes with a hotel chef

Mark Sainsbury has joined Park Hyatt Melbourne as executive chef. He talked to CIM about his food philosophy.

Q: What’s your inspiration when creating your menus? Definitely seasonal produce and as local as possible, I love cookbooks and also of course there are certain websites I tend gravitate to which I certainly enjoy researching.

Q: How would you describe your current cooking style? I do like Middle Eastern influences, but we recently worked on a project on British food and that was really interesting. It took me back to my roots and classical training. So I would say I draw from a number of countries in which I have worked in the past.

Q: What are the current food trends? I can see quite a wide influence ranging from the Middle East, European and South East Asian countries. This has given chefs a wide range of ingredients to work with and is prevalent here in Melbourne and all over Australia.

Q: How has the industry changed in the past 10 years? There is a consensus that things have changed in terms of perceptions of working in the industry this is due in part that people are wanting a life and work balance. Also, the shift with technology has also greatly impacted our business, in terms of having a strong digital presence and the speed in which customers will respond to their experience at your restaurant.

Q: What do you like about working at Park Hyatt Melbourne? I like that everyone from top to bottom are genuinely there to help, prime example is the large plate ups we do in the events kitchen, where, staff from the other departments have their sleeves rolled up and assist us in quickly serving 450 main course dishes.

Q: What are your essential ingredients? Sea salt and pepper, shallots, garlic, herbs, and leeks. And some meat and fish!