5 minutes with Chef Brendon Barker - Visit Brisbane


5 minutes with Chef Brendon Barker

Our favourite riverside event – Sea to the City – is back again on 13 October. To get in the mood for this one-day seafood trail we caught up with Madame Wu's head chef Brendon Barker.

Chef Brendan Barker

Where did you love of food come from and how did you get into the industry?

I was lucky enough to do work experience at the Hilton Hotel in Cairns when I was 16. From the first minute of stepping into the kitchen, I knew this was where I was meant to be.

Where do you get inspiration and what is your food philosophy?

I take inspiration from where I am at that point in time and from the chefs around me. I have some amazing chefs working in the Madame Wu kitchen from all corners of the world. They all bring something to the table and this is the same with my philosophy. Things change and evolve over time, people’s tastes change and as chefs we must as well. We try to keep everything as local as possible and make as much as possible in house which can be very challenging in a small space.

What is your favourite seafood to cook with and why?

I love the Fraser Island spanner crab, it’s so sweet and delicious.

What other ingredients are you loving to work with right now?

Baby daikons. We have not had a ready supply of them till now. They make the most amazingly crispy and sour kimchi.

Dining at Madame Wu

What’s one your favourite feature or menu item from your restaurant you wish everyone knew about?

We do a dish called Hong Kong/Portuguese chicken, fragrant pear salad. I love it because it’s a Macanese dish, born from a hybrid of the people from Portugal and Macau. It has so much going on, but the dish works – it’s the flavours of piri piri chicken mixed with ginger, coconut cream and many other spices.

What do you love most about living and working Brisbane?

Being part of a budding restaurant scene. We have some of the best food in the country up here which we get to utilise. And because of our beautiful all year round weather, Queensland is acquiring its own food style and uniqueness.

Get ready for round two! Brisbane’s Bug & Oyster Trail, Sea to the City is back for its second year on Sunday 13 October 2019. The one-day alfresco food trail celebrates fresh seafood with 17 of Brisbane's best riverside restaurants serving up specially curated seafood delights that hero oysters and bugs. 

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