They say - behind every great dish is a great chef. It will come as no surprise then that Pollen’s Head Chef, Simon, has a talent for not only for cooking up a storm, but also for making people smile with his friendly and encouraging nature... and occasional wicked sense of humour. We sat down with Simon to get an insight into the person behind Pollen’s great dishes.
Where did you learn to cook?
In Sydney at TAFE for three years. Before that I was in Canberra so I came back to work here after TAFE.
What were you doing before you decided to become a chef?
I was studying Interior Design at university. After I finished the degree I decided I didn’t want to work in that field so I pursued something I really wanted to do, and that was cooking.
What is your favourite dish, either to cook or eat?
An Asian steamed chicken dish with ginger and shallots. Simple. It’s nice, tender and best served with rice.
Tell us about the first time you set foot in a professional kitchen.
The doors swing open and before you the intricate beauty of Pollen unfolds as your eyes dart from colour to detail and then back again.
As your coffee is being prepared, you notice the textured linen of the menu. It’s a blue so deep you’re drawn in and the flash of metallic copper is all that stops you from daydreaming.
Tracy Keeley relishes in the opportunity to transform cafes and curate a feeling within that space. Here she shares her story of the elements involved in creating Pollen.
Over the years I have learned that my style is about incorporating function, versatility and beauty. For me, conveying a vision to an audience is about developing a concept. It lays the foundation for the total sensory experience.
When I look at a commercial space, I appreciate how much planning is required to translate the brand into a physical location. All the elements need to form a constellation that feels harmonious and makes sense to the consumer. Will the food and the plates match the vibe of décor...