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Jesse Blake: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities in Hospitality

Jesse Blake, originally from New Zealand, has made significant strides in the food industry, establishing himself as a leading chef in Australia. His journey from an emerging talent to a recognised figure in Australia's restaurant scene is noteworthy. Trained at the Manukau Institute of Technology, Blake has held key positions in establishments like Zinc Food and Wine and Melbourne's Cumulus Inc, showcasing a knack for enhancing the natural flavours of ingredients through his cooking techniques. His move to Perth to helm Petition Kitchen and later Double Rainbow Eating House allowed him to explore a style that marries his appreciation for Asian flavours with Australian produce, resulting in straightforward yet inventive dishes. In his role, Blake actively promotes connections with local growers and the community, contributing to a vibrant food culture in Perth. His story, shared with ChefHire, reflects a path of development, learning, and a deep passion for food, providing insights into the career of a chef in Australia who is committed to quality and simplicity.

Can you tell us about your current role?

I am currently the Executive Culinary Director / Executive chef of a New hospitality group in Dubai. I have been tasked with developing and implementing new concepts and food & beverage menus, designing kitchens and restaurants and running kitchen and service teams. I also Consult on a part time basis providing insight and assistance to menu development which sees me return to Perth every so often. 

What has been some of the highlights of this position?

The freedom to develop and implement ideas from the ground up and watching them evolve and come to life.

Can you tell us a bit about your career before this current position?

I was the Head chef of the Petition Collection and I had the pleasure of running all kitchen operations, an experience I will never forget. This position allowed me to broaden my career quite quickly, being able to participate in many local events and work alongside some very talented chefs.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the industry at the moment?

Our Food industry is being challenged due to over fishing, mass production, industrial farming and corporate greed (to name a few). Chefs/farmers/fisherman/food producers all pushing production and restrictions to the limit to compete will always have an effect on our health and well-being, both physically and mentally. The sacrifices that need to be made in order to survive and the pressure associated is unfortunately too much for some.

What do you see as a possible solution to the growing shortage of chefs?

Get them from somewhere else – make it easier for international recruitment. There are plenty of able-bodied chefs who would jump at the chance to come and work in Australia and provide for their families. You would be giving work to those who need and want it.

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