Location: Stanthorpe, Granite Belt Wine Country, Queensland
What made you decide to become a chef?
“I decided to become a Chef when I realised food and cooking was/is my passion. I come from a family of cooks, chefs and farmers and when the opportunity to begin an apprenticeship arose, I took a leap of faith and never looked back!”
What did your introduction to cheffing look like?
“Food and cooking have always been a huge part of my life. I grew up here in Stanthorpe, my parents had a stone fruit farm and are both chefs themselves. So really, the seed was sewn at a very early age.”
Did you have a career before?
“Before beginning my “food journey” I worked in an admin role with QLD Health”
What does your day-to-day actually look like?
“The day is filled with many tasks. From setting tables, taking reservations, creating menus, cooking, gardening, admin, accounting, payroll and so much more!”
Do you have a favourite product, or one you are most excited about?
“I think my favourite thing would have to be the pleasure of sourcing beautiful, fresh, seasonal produce that has been grown right here in Stanthorpe or harvesting herbs and garnishes from our garden.”
Do you have a favourite tool in your trade, that you just couldn’t live/work without?
“The herb garden.”
What do you wish everyone knew about Essen?
“I think it is important to note that everything that is made or achieved in a day is done by two people. Myself and my mother – we are proud of what we have achieved, and we put a lot into our days – even before we open the doors for dinner service!”
When you’re not at the restaurant, what do you like to do out and about on the Granite Belt?
“We love to explore Girraween national park, spend time with friends and family and eat out at other venues if we can – who doesn’t love being looked after!?”
Where you’ll find Clarissa…
“Diners at Essen will probably see me in the kitchen!”