Chef Anthony Craven has been busy in the kitchen for over twenty years, and recently sat down with me for a casual interview.
Chef Anthony! Thanks so much for your time today – it seems like you have quite a busy lineup? Yes. Peak season is here which means I am cooking solidly for incredible events across Perth. I am currently working for Comestibles, who offer fine catering for high end corporate events and social events for the elite of Perth. I also have the great pleasure of assisting parents with their little ones parties with my little party australia.
Wow! That sounds amazing! Now, lets start from the beginning. Why did you decide to become a Chef? I really enjoyed cooking with my Grandmother. She was the one to introduce me to the art of cooking, I loved learning about the ingredients and cooking techniques. We had lots of fun together cooking in her kitchen.
That sounds lovely, and how long have you been cooking professionally? I have been cooking professionally for over twenty years, with the majority of that time for five star hotels in Sydney, Dubai and Manila. I really enjoyed being a part of the opening team of Escolta, The Peninsula Manila‘s all day dining restaurant.
I love hearing that your career has taken you to so many places in the world. Where is your most favourite place in the world? Australia, Perth right now, that’s why I chose to live here. I like the relaxed lifestyle.
Ok, great. What do you do for fun? Golf, kicking the footy with my sons, movies, swimming occasionally. Spending time my gorgeous wife!
haha too funny! Can you tell me what would be your funniest kitchen incident? Wow, too many to recollect or mention on this site. Although I did once ask a chef to get the flour, and came back with an actual flower. I also saw a food label at the restaurant in Manila beside the green peas, it read Green Peace. Too funny!
That is funny! Can you tell me what is your best achievement as a Chef, you mentioned opening the Escolta restaurant in Manila, would that be it? Yes, that is one. I also enjoyed being a part of the kitchen team at the Shangri-la Hotel Sydney for the Sydney Olympics. Aswell as leading the kitchen team that rebranded The Observatory to The Langham Sydney. I also have enjoyed cooking for Prince Philip, Princess Mary, the Vice President of the United States, the Prime Minister of Australia.
Wow! That sounds amazing. Who have you enjoyed cooking for most? Well apart from my darling wife, and sons. haha I really enjoyed cooking for Prince Philip.
Are there any other achievements that stand out for you in your career? I have enjoyed working for various five star hotels across the world. I like meeting new people, and learning new cultures. Whilst working for the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, I had the opportunity to be a guest Chef for the Shangri-La Hotel Surabaya in Indonesia. I was flown out to Surabaya to be a part of the hotel’s Australian promotion. It was a fun experience where I got the opportunity to introduce Australian cuisine to Indonesia. I was also really proud to be a finalist for Chef of the Year for the HM Awards in 2013.
Wow! That is amazing. I understand that is an Australasian competition. That’s incredible. Tell me, is there a Chef you admire most, and why? I have a great respect for Matt Moran, aswell as Peter Gilmore. And all of the great chefs who have helped form this industry.
How do you get your inspiration? Reading cookbooks, keeping up with the latest trends via instagram and dining out.
Favourite foods to cook with? I enjoy cooking with pretty much everything. I like a good cut of meat, it brings out the carnivore in me.
What do you like to eat when you’re at home? I like comfort food with great flavours. I also like doing special nights with a theme, such as Mexican, Indian, or Japanese. I like creating authentic regional dishes from scratch including all the sides, breads, snacks and desserts. These nights are always a hit with my family and friends.
Do you have a signature dish you enjoy cooking for parties? Everyone seems to enjoy my gluten free double chocolate brownie. So I tend to make sure that is on the menu as it is a crowd favourite.
Best piece of advice you would give a home enthusiast? Cook what you like and give it a lot of time and love. Also don’t be afraid of seasoning, it really makes the difference, we go through kilos of sea salt and butter every week in the kitchen.
What is your secret? Now that would be telling. Nothing spectacular, it’s simply – taste your dishes – as much as possible. When the dish reaches the table, there should be no need to correct the seasoning. Also it’s just in the practice, the only way to perfect things is to make them multiple times. At work we sometimes cook a dish ten or more times before it makes it on to the menu.
What would be your advice to those wanting to cater for their own childs party? Keep it simple. Call Emma! She will assist you with the organisation of catering.
haha that is so funny! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I loved hearing your answers. And while I have you, know that I am super impressed with all that you do. I really admire you, I love that you always speak highly of your team wherever you are positioned. You are a dedicated and hardworking individual, who is always keen to learn more.
I would also like to make a special mention of your recent hard work towards Jack’s Lemonade Stand raising money for LIFEkids at C3 The Bukit, Bali. We are so grateful for you donating all the ingredients, but most importantly all the time you invested creating all the delicious food on offer. Thank you Chef! It was my pleasure. It is such a worthy cause, I love that I can use my skills to help those less fortunate to us.
Well there you go, a background of our resident Chef, Anthony Craven. I hope this helped you get to know the man who is behind the catering at my little party australia. If you have any questions for Chef Anthony or myself, feel free to comment below. And as always, if you are finding planning your little ones birthday overwhelming and need some assistance – we would love to help you! All it takes to get the party started is a phone call to me on 0424 728 798, or the click of the mouse to our contact page. I would love to create a joyful and memorable party for you and your little one!