Food Wine Produce | People and Places
27/03/2021
A CHAT WITH OUR FOOD, WINE & DINING EXPERTS Head chef Noel Black — The Deck Est.2013
by Mornington Peninsula Magazine

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Your dishes are plated up wonderfully and look absolutely delectable. What’s your secret?

This is something you learn gradually from different places, travelling, eating out and working with great chefs. Most importantly, from the repetition of doing things again and again and always thinking how it can be improved. There is no secret.

The menu consists of the ultimate range of pub food. What inspired the dishes?

Our menu has evolved over time and is an amalgamation of best-sellers since the pub opened. I’ve put my own twist on some of the dishes, but ultimately they are base favourites of our clientele. We aspire to fill a niche demand for consistently exceptional pub fare served in a very friendly and lively atmosphere, complemented by great entertainment.

The pizzas on offer are the epitome of comfort food and gourmet. Do you have a favourite?

I’m a big pepperoni and mushroom lover so I often will go for a simpler pizza on most occasions. You can’t go wrong with a margherita when you just can’t decide.

If a customer asked you to suggest your favourite dish on the menu, what would it be?

We really focus on getting fresh quality meats and fish from Victoria and Tasmania. We do one of the best steaks on the Peninsula and always are coming up with specials and promotions to keep people interested and offer great value and exceptional food service. I am partial to my oysters rockefeller though.

What’s your go-to trend to serve up that customers are loving?

Aussie pub classics done well are what we have found keeps our customers coming back. Hands down are our parmas. We have regular parma aficionados comment on how universally unbeatable they are time after time after time.

Could you tell us a little about your industry experience?

I completed my apprenticeship in Calgary, Canada and worked for a year at a Cajun blues pub called the Blue Dog Café in Cochrane Alberta. I then moved to the mountains for a couple of seasons at Heather Mountain Lodge in Golden, BC to heli-ski and learn great regional cuisine from accomplished Canadian chef Dan Brako. After that I worked at the Hyatt Regency Calgary for four years before deciding to move Down Under for a working holiday – and never left. Before the Deck I was working for Grand Hyatt Melbourne for seven years, predominantly in events, before making the move to Frankston.

What’s your style in the kitchen and what do you love most about what you do?

I’m an easygoing guy in general and like to work with passionate and like-minded people. I most love being part of a strong and tight team and sharing my passion of food with others; learning new tricks of the trade and growing as a chef.

Do you have any advice for aspiring chefs?

Follow your dreams and see where it takes you. It takes a lot of hard work and is often not as glamorous as what you’ll see on MasterChef, but it is very rewarding if you stick with it.

KATE SEARS

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