Top chef dishes on ‘lazy’ gen Y

Written By komlim puldel on Sabtu, 01 November 2014 | 20.01

Celebrity chef Luke Mangan shows you how to make his seared scallops with corn puree for a simple Christmas entree.

ONE of Australia's most successful chefs has taken aim at a lazy work ethic he believes is hurting the industry he loves.

Luke Mangan will open his 20th restaurant this year in the Maldives and is already planning his next foray possibly in the US.

The 44-year-old who also creates business class menus for Virgin Australia said his success was born out of hard work, and being in the right place at the right time.

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Paradise...Luke Mangan in the Maldives at the site of one of his new restaurants. Picture: Supplied. Source: Supplied

Not happy...Luke Mangan is frustrated by people in the hospitality industry who only want to work 38-hours a week. Picture: News Corp Australia Source: News Corp Australia

When he started his apprenticeship in Melbourne as a restless 15-year-old, he routinely racked up between 70 and 80 hours a week.

Now, he said, "the kids look at their watch at 38-hours".

"You do not learn a profession by taking short cuts or just doing the hours you have to do," said Mr Mangan in an exclusive interview on the One and Only Hayman Island.

"You've got to put in hard work and commit to it and I think I've done that."

Started young...Luke Mangan started his apprenticeship in Melbourne as a restless 15-year-old, he routinely racked up between 70 and 80 hours a week. Picture: Supplied. Source: Supplied

He also expressed his frustration that there was too much focus on "celebrity" and not enough on genuine chefs of "substance".

Despite being one of the first in Australia to earn the tag of "celebrity chef" along with Neil Perry, Mr Mangan said he did not like the term.

"A lot of the chefs now just want to be on TV, do a cookbook and work 38-hours for it," Mr Mangan said.

"People want to get somewhere too quick, they don't want to put in the hard work.

"There are no shortcuts in this industry."

On the side...Cookbooks are par for the course for chefs these days, although Luke Mangan's are in more kitchens than most. Picture: Supplied. Source: Supplied

He also offered some words of advice to young restaurant owner chefs.

"It's so hard to just survive in just one restaurant," he said.

"I'm lucky I've got a lot of streams of income that can help prop up a restaurant but a lot of the younger kids still think it's all about the food.

"It's not all about the food, it's the whole package as a restaurant and you've got to be creative and get other streams of income if you want to survive because you won't survive in a restaurant."

One of the best...Spanish chef Ferran Adria has mastered the art of "molecular gastronomy". Picture: AP Photo. Source: AP

On the topic of food, Mr Mangan revealed he was not a fan of "molecular gastronomy" pioneered by the likes of Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adria, and now being copied worldwide.

"To me it's not real food, it's fluff and puff and I like real food," he said.


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