Melbourne chef Rob Kabboord has been appointed Peter Gilmore's chef de cuisine at Sydney's Quay. The Dutch-born chef has left his 30-seat Northcote restaurant Merricote to take on the role at Quay, where he was sous chef a decade ago.
Kabboord replaces Sam Aisbett, who plans to open his own restaurant in Singapore in October.
It's certainly a change of pace for Kabboord, who shifts from a two-chef kitchen in Northcote to overseeing a brigade of around 30 at Quay, which was voted No. 3 in the inaugural Australian Financial Review Top 100 Restaurants awards, and 58th on this year's World's 50 Best list. "It's just a flurry of chefs every day," he says .
"I feel very humbled to be back with the Quay family, knowing that Pete [Gilmore] trusts me with his food and his brigade," says Kabboord, who trained at the Waldorf Astoria in London before moving to Australia in 1999.
Stuart Munro will take over as head chef of the Merricote kitchen although Kabboord will continue to oversee the menu direction for now, promising the retain the Dutch influence on the modern European food. The two chefs previously worked together at Quay, Kabboord as sous chef and Munro as an apprentice. Munro has gone on to work at London's Pied a Terre and Cumulus Inc in Melbourne.
"It's been a seamless transition but I wouldn't have done this if I didn't have confidence in Stu."
Kabboord's wife Bronwyn will remain in charge of front of house and the wine list at Merricote, which will close for a week at the end of June for a small cosmetic lift.
Peter Gilmore will be glad to have an old hand in the Quay kitchen. He is expected to open Bennelong, at the Sydney Opera House at the end of June.