Dave Verheul Chef of the Year Finalist

New Zealand-born Dave Verheul, who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants with Marcus Wareing and Gordon Ramsay in London, plus a stage at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, and at Sydney’s hatted The Bentley Restaurant and Bar, is one of five finalists named for Citi Chef of the Year, a category in The Age Good Food Guide 2017 Awards.

Verheul is now juggling kitchen duties at both Carlton hotspot The Town Mouse and zeitgeisty Melbourne wine bar Embla, where his back-to-the-soil ethos elevates vegetables to hero status.

“I like vegetables. I think we should eat more veggies than meat,” Verheul says.

Brassicas such as broccoli and cabbage are particular favourites, evidenced by his Town Mouse dish of slow-roasted red cabbage with prunes, parmesan and red apple, now a cult classic. During his first summer in Melbourne in 2013, he was amazed to see people seated outside the Town Mouse on 40-degree days eating red cabbage. He hasn’t been able to shift it from the menu since.

The Citi Chef of the Year will be announced on 12 September.

Original article by Roslyn Grundy, The Age, September 6, 2016.

Photo by Eve Wilson.

Tags: Dave Verheul  The Age