We chat to Matt Moran on all things food and success.
Calling all food lovers and future entrepreneurs out there, let us introduce you to today’s inspiration, Matt Moran.
Chef, Restauranteur, TV personality, Entrepreneur, best-selling author, Husband, Father, Inspiration. The man has many titles, but I feel the best term to sum him up is simply “all round good guy”.
I sat down with Matt armed with a few questions and an almond latte, to get inside the head of Australia’s most loved chef.
You immediately like the man. He’s warm and open, funny and has a great energy surrounding him.
His story (or the short version) is as follows…
At age 15, after being raised on a dairy farm, Matt left school for bigger and better things. School “Just wasn’t for me”. He had a dream to be a world class chef, to have his name attached to the finest foods and the most sought-after restaurants. So off he went to apply for his first ever job. And was rewarded with a big fat No.
So he tried again… And again… And again. In fact, he received 15 ‘No’s’ before he was given his first ever and very welcomed, “Yes”. And so, Matt, as an eager and wide eyed 15 year old, started his first job in the kitchen at the Parramatta RSL club.
At age 22 Matt opened his first Restaurant.
Fast forward to 2018 and Matt now owns some of Australia’s most celebrated restaurants, having just opened his 30th venue. With some of Sydney’s finest award-winning names amongst that list, Including Aria, Opera Bar, Chiswick, North Bondi Fish and most recently Barangaroo House, the man is obviously doing something right.
Ok Matt, everyone wants to know, what is your signature dish?
Matt: The Lamb shoulder at Chiswick definitely! Mmmm mmm.
Ahhh yes, the famous Chiswick lamb. Sourced from the Moran Family farm, which is located on the central tablelands, correct? In fact, you are a bit of a pioneer of the paddock to plate philosophy sweeping Australia right now aren’t you…
Matt: I definitely believe it is important to understand where your food has come from. We should know its origin. All my restaurants are about fresh produce and Chiswick has its own garden. I grew up on a farm and now I own a farm, so its all connected.
Where was your first proper job as a Chef?
Matt: La Belle Helene Restaurant, Roseville. This is where I started my apprenticeship.
What would be your last meal on Earth?
Matt: I think a lot of people would say caviar and truffles, but for me it would have to be a well cooked chook with roasted Veggies. Simple but delicious.
How did you get into TV?
Matt: Just by doing what I love. Cooking is my passion, everything just came organically after that and fell into place.
You’ve just opened your 30th venue, you’re obviously very business savvy, what advice do you have for people thinking about starting out themselves?
Matt: Do what you love. Do what you love and success will come. It is cliche I know, but I love that saying; “ Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life.” It is so true!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Matt: Here I hope!! Still in Sydney and still continuing to open places. Who knows though. I love what I do, but I don’t have my life mapped out. I work hard and I go with the flow.
Ok, so you are in great shape, what is your fitness regime like? How does a chef like yourself that is constantly surrounded by the best food stay fit and healthy? We want the secret…
Matt: Haha thanks but I don’t know about that! I’m pretty slack at times to be honest, it gets hard when the work schedule gets crazy! But I like to train 5 days a week if possible. I need someone to train me and push me, I am no good on my own and I am told I talk too much! I have an amazing trainer that I have had for many years, Trent Langlands. He co-owns Lifecycle fitness and E-lab training in Bronte, and I love him. He pushes me hard and has become a part of the family, spending christmas with my family most years. My training motto though is definitely “Train to eat”.
Who inspires you and why?
Matt: Ahhhh there are too many people! I am constantly striving for better and trying to improve and thus my inspiration is always changing.
Which of your many ventures do you think you are most proud of?
Matt: Aria, definitely. She was my baby. My flagship. I gave her my blood, sweat and tears and I absolutely love what I have created. She is standing strong after 18 years, so yes, without doubt Aria holds that special place in my heart.
Savoury or Sweet?
Matt: You don’t choose just one! You always savoury first, sweet second.
If you could have anyone cook for you, who would it be?
Matt: Hahahaha that is easy, ANYONE!! It would be a joy to have anyone cook for me because it really doesn’t happen very often.
There you have it folks. A small insight into Australia’s most loved and inspirational chef. I’m off now to overindulge at the very recently opened, three-level waterfront Barangaroo House in Sydney. With two restaurants and a rooftop bar boasting a 400 strong wine list and a cocktail list of 50 plus, I’d say I’m in for a fabulous night. Don’t take my word for it though, check it out for yourself.
Barangaroo House – Pick a wine, kick back and enjoy the sensational food and killer views.