10 Minutes with…Dallas Cuddy, Head Chef and Director of Food & Beverage at the Prime Society

What inspired you to first get into cooking?
My family moved from Sydney to country Victoria when I was young and I grew up having a fruit and vegetable garden in our backyard. That was a starting point for me, helping my mum cook dinner with fresh vegetables and fruits, which we grew.

My dad and I used to go fishing a lot and whatever we caught was dinner for that night. I really enjoyed fishing more in the summertime, as it wasn’t as cold and there were always lots of wild blackberries so we used to pick those for dessert.

I guess without really knowing it these early childhood experiences started me on my path to becoming a chef.

How’d you find that first move from Melbourne to London?
Moving to London was a big step in both my career and my personal life. I saw it as a challenge to work in some of the best kitchens in the UK and also for me to step out from my comfort zone back in Melbourne and push myself. I only had two years in London but it was such an amazing experience that it really gave me confidence to push myself harder.

You’ve worked in some big restaurants in London and Melbourne, but what enticed you to come over to Singapore?
I had travelled through Singapore many times on the way to Europe, but when I first spent some time here I felt at ease. After working in London, I had always wanted to work in Asia, and Singapore has a huge reputation for not only its local food but also for its dining scene in general– and I wanted to be a part of that.

What is your perfect steak?
My perfect steak would be Robbins Island Wagyu from Tasmania. The story behind this beef is really amazing, and I’m a strong believer in promoting Australian beef.

What was it like to be involved in the 50 BBQs campaign here in Singapore?
I felt very privileged to be involved with such an inspiring event. I was lucky enough to assist with the media launch at the Australian High Commissioner’s residence here.

On the day itself I was too busy helping to make sure the event was ready to realise that both the Australian Prime Minister and Singaporean Prime Minister were about to make their entrance. Only then was I told that I would be cooking side by side both PMs. I have to say both PMs did a great job.

What is a dish that most people think are hard to make, but is actually simple?
I think some people get a little bit freaked out by cooking fish in a pan, when it really is quite simple. All you need is a pan that can be put in the oven, a little oil and a nice piece of fish. It’s something that seems daunting but it really is very easy to do.

What dishes do you feel are the hardest to perfect?
For me the less you put on the plate, the harder it is. When I was younger it was a case of how many ingredients can I put together in a dish. Now it’s a case of what can I take away from a dish. It takes more confidence to work with less ingredients because there is less room to find.