Are you SA born and bred, or has it become home more recently? Tell us about why SA is home for you.
I was born and bred in SA, just east of the city. SA has always been home to me, I have traveled around the world but I was always drawn back here. I have always been involved in the food and beverage industry, studying Oenology and Viticulture at Adelaide Uni, so for me, SA was the perfect place to reside. SA is surrounded by world-class regions, for both wine and produce, so as a hospitality professional I couldn’t think of a better place.
Where do you spend your time?
I spend most of my time in the city. I live close and have several businesses located in the CBD. I think that Adelaide’s CBD is a place rich in culture. From small bars and restaurants tucked away in its many laneways to the Central Market and that amazing access to SA produce. I also like to head down south and make the most of the beaches, whether that’s surfing or just hanging out.
What do you do and why here?
I am the co-founder and Managing Director of The Big Easy Group. We are a hospitality group here in South Australia. We own and run 6 different venues, each with different and unique concepts. SA is the perfect place to run bars and restaurants. We are surrounded by some of the world’s greatest produce and wines. SA and the Adelaide CBD has been bursting with culture over the last few years. The laneways are alive with small bars and restaurants and the whole town just has this real buzz about it. The ability to jump in the car and be up at one of our farmer’s properties in 15 minutes just give this amazing connection to the produce available and I think has been a huge driving force behind the culinary scene that really punches above its weight on a world stage.
What are your favourite things to recommend to people new to South Australia?
Where do I start? There are so many great things here in South Australia that I would have issues writing them and itinerary for their week-long stay. I always tell people to immerse themselves in the small bar and culinary culture of the CBD. Leigh Street and Peel Street are must-see locations in the West End of town for great bars and restaurants like Leigh Street Wine Room, Shōbōsho, or Maybe Mae. In the East End Places like Brykln, Exchange Coffee and Golden Boy are must see’s and completely unbiasedly I always recommended the whisky aficionados and beer lovers to NOLA, The Stag Public House and Yiasou George for the more food-orientated folk. Outside of the CBD, I always recommend people to head to the Adelaide Hills and visit the team at LOT.100 and Ambleside Distillery while trying to fit in a nature walk or two. If it’s winter, the Hills is filled with Wild Porcini mushrooms, so keep an eye out for these prized fungi.
I would also always suggest coming down to Adelaide in Fringe season, it’s a sight that must be seen to be believed and any sport played at Adelaide Oval is a real treat to attend.
What is your tip for other locals?
Make the most of what is in our backyard, visit the regions and support the small businesses that are helping to make this state one of the best in the world to live in. We really are the festival state and if COVID has taught us anything, it is to make the most of every opportunity when we have it.
Describe SA in one sentence.
Adventurous, cultural and buzzing with energy, without the overwhelming and difficult nature of some other large cities.
What’s the best thing about living here?
Adelaide is an amazing place to live. I mean it was recently the 3rd most liveable city in the world and the most liveable city in Australia, so I am sure this is no longer a secret. The food and drink scene is world-class and nature is on your doorstep. It is still seemly possible to buy a house within convenient proximity to everything and people are just friendly. The hills are close for winter and the beaches for summer, nothing is more than 20mins away!