Published 9th April 2011
This week I popped into see what was happening at the Reef House and caught up with Chef Philip Mitchell and newly appointed and well-known local Kelly Eustace, who has taken over as General Manager. There seemed to be a new buzz to the resort that has put a smile on Philip’s face with a vision of bringing back the former glory to the restaurant.
Philip is one of our regions recognised chefs, being at Reef House for many years now he has played host to and cooked with some of the most popular celebrity chefs such as Rick Stein, Guy Grossi, Neil Perry, Chrissy Mansfield, Stephane Manfredi, Ian Hewitson, Luke Mangan, Manu Fieldel, Gary Mehigan, Miguel Maestre and Ben O’Donoghue. Phil has done his share of guest chef also at some of the best Australian Food events where he has promoted the food of this region.
An Englishman, Phil’s love of travel took him to many European countries where he honed his culinary skills prior to reaching Australia. Phil worked at the best restaurants in Noosa and was executive chef of the Bedarra Resort before being discovered by Reef House.
Phil’s cooking philosophy is about simplicity on the plate and allowing the hero ingredient to speak for itself. His love of seafood is evident on the menu and style is influenced by his Mediterranean experiences using local products such as Vanella buffalo fetta and burrata cheeses for authenticity. But it’s not all about Europe, there are some lovely Asian flavours that balance the menu perfectly for this climate.
Now that the recent hiatus with change of ownership has now come to an end, Philip (and Kelly) will be working closely with the new owners to revive the restaurant to once again be the star attraction of the resort. The Reef House now joins the other boutique property of its new owners; Mt Lofty House in the Adelaide Hills; an area that reeks of regional food prowess. So I think it will be ‘watch this space’ for the Reef House in the coming year when we hope to see some exciting culinary events happen.