Q&A Session with
Head Chef Michelle Powell
First we interviewed Jo. Now it is time for you to meet our other Co-Head Chef, Michelle Powell. Like Jo, Michelle has been with Bistro Rex from the beginning. Michelle is a very hard working and dedicated team player. She is so integral to the team, we don’t know where we would be without her. Michelle loves to come out onto the floor, meet the guests and share her passion for produce, but for those of you who haven’t met her yet, we got a little playful and personal with Mishy so you get to know her a little better…
Did you eat your vegetables as a kid?
I would say that I did. I was a stir-fry queen cooking with my mum's Kambrook electric wok! My favourite part was the classic combo with the chicken breast, the baby corn, broccoli and capsicum.
When did you know you wanted to be a chef?I honesty never thought about working as a chef until I started working at KFC at 16 years of age! I love a fast-paced electrifying environment. The idea of being a chef also stemmed from my time playing sport, and revelling in team sport. I love working in an environment where I am part of a team, as it is when I thrive most.
Who inspires you in the food world?I love Gabrielle Hamilton. She cooks from the heart and has a strong connection to the produce. I also admire the simplicity of her cooking style.
How do you get your inspiration when creating new dishes?My inspiration for creating new dishes is always season driven. I create winter dishes in winter, and so on. I also cook for my family and friends, and this is an inspiring part of my cooking because I like to challenge myself and come up with new ideas.
What is your favourite kitchen accessory and why?The mandolin! It allows you to cut the vegetables both finely and evenly. You can also rest a mandolin over a plate and utilise the excess juices which run off while cutting into the dish which is great.
How long have you been working for Bistro Rex?I have been at Bistro Rex from day one (March, 2017). Would you believe that on the first time I walked into Bistro Rex I was polishing the floor during the renovations? That was two years ago.
What do you love most about working at Bistro Rex?Our entire team of passionate and hospitable staff. They are all full of quality, and passionate about the food we serve and the service we provide. We are all quality driven and service focused.
Of the dishes you prepare at Bistro Rex, which one is your favourite?My new favourite is the Glazed Mushroom dish which is a mixture of BBQ mushrooms with a verjuice glaze, BBQ chicory mushrooms, spätzle (which is a type of pasta found in the French region of Alsace. You have to try it, it is delicious. (see all menus)
Are you a wine drinker? If so, what is your favourite wine?I do love wine. Recently, a customer generously invited me to have a glass of a 1983 Cote Rotie La Mouline Bordeaux. This delicious French wine smelt like an exotic blend of camp fire smoke, bacon, flowers and cherries. Sounds incredible right? Its flavours are still lingering in my mind.
What would you advise a new customer to get for their first time at Bistro Rex and why?Where do I begin? If it's your first time at Bistro Rex, make sure you try our Sydney Rock Oysters and our Ocean Trout Tartare. If the roast duck (Confit Duck Leg) is available I always encourage guests to try it. Also the Steak Frites is definitely a firm favourite. (see all menus)
What do you like to do in your spare time?I love to recharge by catching the sunrise with my personal trainer. I also do functional movement training with infrared saunas followed by breath work and ice baths.
What is the one inspiring quote that you live by? Live your best life!Learn more about Bistro Rex, our Head Chefs and Co-Founders Michelle Powell and Jo Ward.
Bon appetit in style!