Meet the Chef: Gowings Bar & Grill
Gowings Bar & Grill, Sydney
Michael Box is the new executive chef at QT Sydney’s Gowings Bar & Grill. He initially joined QT Sydney as Executive Sous Chef in 2015 before being given the opportunity to be part of QT Canberra’s award-winning Capitol Bar & Grill as Executive Chef. It was here that he developed his food first philosophy and love of showcasing best in class, locally sourced ingredients and produce. Earlier this year, he came back to where it all began to take on the Executive Chef role at Gowings Bar & Grill.
What is your favourite Autumn ingredient?
I love them for their versatility. They can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
A favourite dish of mine is roasted artichoke soup with stinging nettle puree and buttermilk.
What is your most memorable meal?
BBQ Hawkesbury squid, roasted lettuce, samphire and brown butter with garlic cream. This is one of the first dishes that defined who I was as a chef. There is something humbling in using 3 – 4 ingredients, prepared with a classic technique with the output being a timeless, well executed dish.
What restaurant is on your must-visit list this year?
Totti’s. It’s nostalgic Italian in a fun environment.
What is your ‘old favourite’ restaurant that you often revisit?
What do you love about this restaurant?
It hasn’t changed since 1989. You know exactly what you’re going to get every time you dine.
What is your favourite dish at this restaurant?
Pipis with xo sauce. Extra sauce. Extra noodles.
What is your favourite dish on the menu at Gowings?
The QT Rib Eye.
It’s a great piece of meat.
It’s consistent, rich, heavily marbled and it doesn’t discriminate with how you cook it. The flavour is always guaranteed.
What is your insider Tip for dining at Gowings?
For me, Table 1 is the best seat in the house. You’re right on the pass and have the chance to chat with the chefs and watch the kitchen. Some of my favourite services in the Gowings kitchen are thanks to the guests one Table 1, and I hope some of our guest’s most memorable dining experiences!
When it comes to the best time to dine, I’d go for the 8pm sitting. It lends itself to a pre-dining cocktail at Gowings Bar before being escorted to your table where you can spend the next few hours uninterrupted, enjoying one of our 500 carefully sourced regional wines. My pick is the Crawford River ‘Reserve’ Cabertnet Sauvigon + Merlot 2010. It’s a beautiful pairing with all kinds of steak. The tannins go well with the fat of the QT Rib Eye and the age smooths the wine making it perfect with a fillet.