Luke Tye is Dalton Hospitality’s Head Chef. Chef Luke has 20+ years of cooking experience, and has been with us at Dalton for nearly 4 years, catering to Brisbane and beyond.
1. Where do you draw your food and cooking inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from fellow chefs and regular trips to local farmers markets.
2. What concept or trend is very popular at the moment and that you believe in?
Recently I have been seeing a lot more fermentation, local produce and use of every part of the produce or animal. We have a kitchen garden where we have a worm farm and compost utilizing every bit of our leftovers. We also have Dalton Hospitality chickens based in Ashgrove who are probably the best fed chooks in the greater Brisbane area.
3. What approaches can be taken to make a catered event more entertaining?
I love finding new ways to serve and deliver food to guests by adding more interactive approaches and theatre. For example, we have a truffle hunt canapé which is vegan, and the guests must hunt through an edible garden and soil to find their own truffle amongst truffle mist.
4. Do you have any particular style of cooking or food that you love?
Slow cooked & smoked meats are still a favourite of mine! We break down and age our own primal cuts, ageing them in a dedicated cool room for anywhere up to 100 days. Going on a journey with our ingredients is always a thrill too.
5. What has been you most exciting project or event so far at Dalton Hospitality?
The Fire Dome, 100%. There is no better way to gather people around and see their delight in food being cooked in front of them while around an open fire. Surprisingly, it’s also a fantastic form of plant-based catering as I am constantly surprised how amazing our vegetable and side dishes turn out using the fire dome.
6. How do you keep up in term of creativity and ideas?
Reading books, popular gastronomy blogs and spending time on days off trying new produce from the markets and local farms. Recently I was lucky enough to head out to Rocky Point Aquaculture Farm and see how they are growing world class quality cobia, we now use this on our current menu for our ceviche; Dragon fruit cured Rocky Point cobia, coconut cream curd, plantain shard, tapioca cracker.
7. As demand for creativity and innovation in food increases, how do you respond?
Continuing to change the way we produce food to serve a wider scope of dietaries, with new technology and new ingredients with the combination of old school knowledge with new technique. We now have a completely plant-based and vegan menu for example; this wasn’t even on my radar a few years ago and now is becoming more and more important. It’s also a fantastic way to cook as it challenges our Anglo-Saxon roots of protein always being the hero!
8. What menu would you choose for your own personal catered at home event?
Fire Dome and lots of single malt whisky!
9. Funniest kitchen story?
Catering a wedding and as we were getting ready to serve the cake we found out the bride was Russian so luckily my sous chef had a Russian family background and we got him to write congratulations in Russian on the cake. Ten minutes later, the bride entered the kitchen and asked the sous chef to marry him.
10. Favourite dish in the Dalton hospitality kitchen right now and why?
Pâté en croûte with quince purée & macerated pickled golden raisins. Buttery pastry paired with earthy rich pâté, fresh acidic raisins and quince: heaven! I could eat it all day with a nice single malt whisky.
11. Favourite restaurant in the world?
Would have to be Tetsuya in Sydney. I had a dinner there 20 years ago that I have never forgotten.
12. Favourite food destination?
Singapore is a place I am excited to check out in September.
13. Food words of wisdom?
Cook from the heart and you can’t go wrong.