Darren Simpson, one of Australia’s most recognised chefs, has taken a side-step from the bright lights of London and Sydney and is now tackling his latest culinary challenge on the Sunshine Coast.
The 2011 Australian Hotels Association Chef of the Year, United Kingdom Young Chef of the Year, resident chef on Channel 7’s Sunrise, regular guest chef on Ready Steady Cook and judge on hit reality TV show My Restaurant Rules, has taken up the position of Executive Chef at Kawana Island’s beautiful BV Pizzeria and Wine Bar.
Mr Simpson said he was thrilled to be able to work with the diverse range of quality produce available in South-East Queensland — from the dairy farms in the hills of Maleny, to the strawberries of Strawberry Fields Farms to the seafood of Mooloolaba’s renowned working harbour.
“Queensland is a stunning part of the world and I’m excited to be a part of the evolving food scene on the Sunshine Coast and surrounding hinterland,” Mr Simpson said.
“All of my restaurants have always offered the overall experience and BV Pizzeria & Wine Bar is no exception. What attracted me to the Kawana Island restaurant is the winning combination of exquisite views, simple, outstanding food, attentive service and most of all, the beautiful customers.”
The chef, who originally hails from Northern Ireland, started his career when he was named the UK’s Young Chef of the year at 21 within two years of landing his first job in the industry.
Darren has trained and worked with some of the greatest names in the industry including Paul Rankin at his Michelin-star restaurant Roscoff in Ireland and Albert Roux at Le Gavroche in London before taking on the position of joint Head Chef at London’s acclaimed River Café and Head Chef at Sir Terence Conran’s Sartoria in Saville Row.
In 1999 Mr Simpson made the move to Sydney where he was appointed Head Chef at Aqua Luna Bar and Restaurant at Sydney’s East Circular Quay and La Sala in Surry Hills, before launching La Scala On Jersey which set high standards for posh Italian-influenced cuisine in Sydney’s trendy Paddington, and saw him receive the AHA ‘Chef of the Year’ title in 2011.
Darren’s culinary principle revolves around the unyielding belief and respect of delivering an experience to his customers. His dishes are personally designed to reflect the freshest variety of Australian seasonal, organic produce.
BV Group Director Todd Young said he was thrilled to have Darren join him in helping put the BV brand on the map as one of the most sought-after dining venues on the Sunshine Coast.
“It’s not every day a chef of Darren’s calibre comes your way with the same vision and integrity, which will really strengthen our brand,” Mr Young said.
“Aside from his years of training and experience, I think Darren’s biggest strength is his philosophy of ‘keeping it simple’. He has an uncanny ability to deliver simplistic yet outstanding dishes that really harness the flavours of the surrounding area’s fresh seasonal produce.”
“To add to this, BV’s views over the stunning white sands of Double Bay Beach ensure our guests have a unique dining experience. Nothing can beat a relaxed morning coffee whilst watching the sunrise over Double Bay.”
Mr Young’s Bella Venezia Restaurant & Bar, which is the longest established restaurant on the Sunshine Coast, has built a strong following for over 30 years. Mr Young has now seized the opportunity to open BV Pizzeria & Wine Bar at Kawana Island and the appointment of Darren Simpson as the BV Group Executive Chef is certain to make an impact on the local food scene.
“Great Italian cuisine paired with attentive service and stylish fit-outs are at the heart of our philosophy for both restaurants. It’s all about sharing our passion for exceptional food and hospitality,” Mr Young said.
BV will officially welcome Darren and launch the newly renovated restaurant at an invitation-only event being held on the evening of 18 November.
BV is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week from 7am until late. The venue is also a perfect location for weddings and private or corporate functions. To find out more, please visit www.bellav.com.au, email firstname.lastname@example.org, ‘like’ the BV Facebook page (www.facebook.com/bvrestaurant