From humble beginnings growing up on a farm in Ireland, to running the kitchens at the Sydney Olympics and Rugby World Cup, Executive Chef John Deane has a plethora of talent and experience under his chef’s whites – so it’s no surprise he has been named a Finalist for 2016 Executive Chef of the Year by the prestigious Executive Chefs Club.
Having worked at Stadium Australia for the past 12 years, Deane knows exactly what it takes to successfully run 27 kitchens and deliver to over 83,000 fans on event night. “Consistency and constantly trying to improve the little things is the secret. You can’t just turn on and off – you have to be consistent. And that’s the food, the staff, the service, the standard, everything,” says Deane.
Drawing inspiration from literally everywhere – magazines, social media, television, restaurants, suppliers, promotions, trade shows – he and his team are constantly creating, reinventing and evolving the 3500 recipes in their collection. The result? The best Stadium fare you’ll find in Australia, whether it’s a gourmet meat pie for the average punter or a roast beef fillet and braised beef daube with beetroot puree, horseradish cream and pistachio orange crumble for the Premier of NSW.
“Chef is a shining example of a manager who is getting it right. Not only does he lead his team with enthusiasm and passion, he also has a great commercial sense, and most importantly a creative culinary mind,” says Andreas Breitfuss, Head of Catering & Hospitality at Stadium Australia.
Catering for more than 50 events and 1.6 million fans every year, what keeps him going? “I love the buzz of getting it done. After the number of years I’ve been doing it, it’s easy to think it’ll just be another Grand Final or another Bledisloe, but it never is. On those major events the menus are different, the staff are different and there’s always plenty of action. It’s a thrill unlike any other, and a job I wouldn’t swap for the world.”
Through to the final round of the Executive Chef of the Year competition, Deane now has to prepare an 8-course tapas-style menu for the judges. Best of luck to our amazing Chef!