DISH FOR A SPECIAL DATE
Spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino. I like simple traditional pasta dishes and this would be my favourite, simply garlic, chilli parsley, white wine and oil. I usually serve it with some grilled tiger prawns or vongoli
ON MY BUCKET LIST
To travel around Australia. I have been all around the world but I have seen very little of my own backyard
Head Chef, Bella Vista Hotel
You might not think Bella Vista Hotel’s Head Chef, Alex Keene sounds Italian, but taste some of his dishes and he will take you straight to Italy!
For Alex, growing up on his family’s farm made his future as a chef an easy decision. Alex believes the key to Italian cooking is simplicity and the celebration of fresh produces, this simplicity of flavour can be found in some of our favourite menu items – Wagyu Beef Pappadelle, Porcini Mushroom Arancini and Crab Linguine just to name a few.
Now, the taste master is all about bringing the food that can only been found in city based restaurants to the Hills District and into his own menu at Bella Vista Hotel.
- Describe your culinary journey:
I starting working in the kitchen at an early age helping mum with dinner and experimenting with desserts. My professional career spans a variety of Italian restaurants including Il Lago and Ormeggio at The Spit where I spent 5 years cooking alongside some of the best chefs in Australia. In 2015 I opened Via Alta in Willoughby, together with the directors of Ormeggio before finding my way back to the hills which I have always considered my home. My dad owned a nursery at Kellyville and I grew up appreciating plants and the importance of feeding people.
- What drew you to a career in food?
I have always been passionate about food and once I started in hospitality, I fell in love with the chefs lifestyle. I work to cook and live to eat.
- What’s something we might not know about Alex?
I can hit a golf ball 300 yards in the wrong direction.
- Your favourite dish?
A dish I was taught by the master himself, Chef Alessandro Pavoni called “Spiedo Bresciano”. It’s a traditional spit roast of pork, quail, chicken and duck originating in Northern Italy served with burnt butter, sage and soft storo polenta. It’s an amazing winter dish which I hope to bring to the Bella Vista Hotel.