Brad Whittaker our Executive Chef kindly took the time out of his busy schedule to share his story.
I have worked at THBC three times but this time I have been back since 1995.
THBC: What is your role at Tweed Heads Bowls Club? My role is Executive Chef, so I look after the catering operations at the Club.
THBC: What does your average day at work look like?
I can start as early as 5:00am if we have a breakfast on, and if there are major events, I can still be here at 9:00 PM.
My role is really to make sure the operation runs smoothly and profitable and to give the staff the assistance and tools to do their job. Contrary to common belief I don’t cook every meal at the Club, I have a very talented team of Chefs that do that 😊
THBC: Where did you grow up?
I was born in Brisbane and our family moved to the Gold Coast when I was seven.
THBC: I understand that your family has owned restaurants on the Gold Coast?
Yes, my Dad owned 22 restaurants in his career on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast. I worked for him in 6 of the restaurants.
What has changed the most over those years?
I think the way staff are treated, the care for their wellbeing and mental health is so important, back in the good old days it was just suck it up and get on with the job, this is not how you get the best out of people, our people are our most valuable asset.
THBC: What are your hobbies?
Cooking, walking, travelling and most importantly spending time with my grand children
THBC: I know that when you travel overseas you love your food tours. Can you please tell us your favourite? And why
I think the best food tour we have done was in New York with “Famous Fat Dave”, Dave would pick you up in an old checker cab and explore the boroughs of New York. We have been to places that New Yorkers wouldn’t have been, and that’s how Dave likes to show off the enormous variety of cuisines in New York, a must do.
THBC: You were supposed to be in Italy right now. Can you please tell us about this trip?
I was going to Italy on Easter Monday for a pilgrimage walk from Florence to Rome, a total of 550 kilometres over 28 days. I had been training since December so that extra exercise hasn’t been wasted and I will try and go next year.
Not only was I looking forward to the challenge of walking 25-30 kilometres a day, but I was looking forward to trying the regional dishes and wines along the way.
THBC: What is your favourite meal from Tweed Heads Bowls Club?
That’s a good question as I think the food in nineteen21 is as good as anywhere in Tweed, but I also love the fact that members and guests can come and have a roast meal at a very reasonable price, so I would say Roast Pork, that’s Australian Pork too, we only use the best quality ingredients.
THBC: I know that you love cooking for your family, what do you enjoy cooking the most?
I try and keep my cooking simple and let the ingredients speak for themselves, I’ve had a little bit of time lately to try some new recipes and I have been posting them on #mythbcrecipes, so have a look and I can forward you the recipes if you would like to try some of the dishes I have been making at home. PS- my wife doesn’t cook and why should she 😊
THBC: What is your favourite food and why?
Tacos, I had some awesome Tacos in San Antione and Dallas, Texas last year when I was there researching their cuisine. Their Mexican is very different to our local Mexican, its fresh and flavoursome, quick and easy to prepare.