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Food Companion International, Our Daily Chef: Port Macquarie chef Charlie Rushton, Coast Bar & Cafe
Our Daily Chef Port Macquarie chef Charlie Rushton, Coast Bar & Cafe  

A full measure of hard work

I worked for Marco Pierre White at The Oak Room and graduated to head chef and then won my first Michelin Star. In a very short space of time we became one of London's most prestigious restaurants with an annual turnover of 8.5 million, serving upwards of 320 covers a day with a kitchen team of 40." Charlie Rushton

Born? Wimbledon, London. My wife Lucia, who performs front of house, was born in Beverly Hills, California.

Education? Quo Vadis, Soho, London, Mirabelle and The Oak Room, Mayfair in London. This success culminated in gaining a Michelin 1 star rating we won Best New Restaurant and Restaurateurs' Restaurant of the Year. Followed by a year's sabbatical in the USA at El Encanto, Santa Barbara, Marco then asked me to come back and work at The Restaurant Marco Pierre White in Knightsbridge for another two years.

Chefing in Australia? It was a lifestyle decision to go and work and live in here up in Port Macquarie. Wow it was an amazing sea change! Upon arrival my wife, who is from California and me an ex-Londoner, took three months to establish a brand-new purpose-built restaurant opposite the beachfront and we were so proud about winning Best New Restaurant for the Northern region of NSW under the RCA Awards of Excellence within our first six months.
Favourite cheap eat? Kebab shop in Horton Street.
What keeps you going? Tallulah our 5-year-old daughter.
Advice to future chefs? Stick to it. This industry is not for the faint or the lazy. It is not your chance to become the next Jamie Oliver. If you truly enjoy and believe in what you are doing, stick to it. Never stop learning.
Favourite kitchen tool? My Mac knife.
Most controversial menu item? Oxtail.
Favourite thing about Port Macquarie? Its beaches.
Most useful cookbook? Alan Davidson's Oxford Companion to food.
Early influences? Langan's Brassiere in London opened by Michael Caine, Peter Langan and Richard Shepherd. Richard Smith was the Sous Chef. Richard Smith was my head chef at the Royal Oak. They were not just great chefs, but great restaurateurs. They created a restaurant that served simple but good food, had sharp, attentive but unobtrusive service and a heady atmosphere that kept you coming back.
On working in Michelin star restaurants? 15-hour days. Perfection is a must every day and working with like minded people, who have drive and commitment.
Would you ever consider working as an inspector for the Michelin Guide? I have, but at this stage in my life, family is too important to be away from them so much.
Why are there so many Michelin 1 stars more than 2 or 3? There are approximately 4,000 Michelin 1 star restaurants, approximately 100 Michelin 2 star restaurants and about 30 Michelin 3 star restaurants just in France. More investment needed to earn even a 1 Michelin star, and will be such a huge accomplishment. That is to say that the food is exceptional and consistent. At Mirabelle we were serving on average 300 meals a day. To have earned my star under those conditions was indeed a great feat.
Career you would have pursued if you didn't become a chef? Actor
On  Modern v Classic? I believe there is and always will be a need for chefs to be trained in a classical environment in order to give them the correct foundation and fundamental knowledge in order for them to express themselves through their cooking later on in their career. ll measure of hard work
Food Companion International, Previous Daily Chef's

We keep a full archive of previous Daily Chef's.

The table to the right contains the last 6 Daily Chef's. For a full list please go to our Previous Chef archive using the link below.

Please click here to view our full Previous Chef archive!

Chef's Name Date Added
Exec Chefs Club Exec Chefs Club1st March 2013
"Firing on all jets..Ben O'Donohoe.."2nd July 2012
Fame on the waters, Sydney chef Dietmar Sawyer Fame on the waters, Sydney chef Dietmar Sawyer8th August 2011
Chefs to put the tea back into 'high tea' high competition - ENTER NOW! Chefs to put the tea back into 'high tea' high competition - ENTER NOW!28th June 2011
Alex Kearns, chase the best produce and keep it simple at Neutral Bay Bar and Dining Alex Kearns, chase the best produce and keep it simple at Neutral Bay Bar and Dining28th September 2010
Istanbul chef, Ish Tosun at Melbourne's Gigibaba (Collingwood) Istanbul chef, Ish Tosun at Melbourne's Gigibaba (Collingwood)2nd November 2009