Freddy Money – Executive Chef and Culinary Innovator – importance of ingredients & his culinary future
Freddy Money is Executive Chef and Culinary Innovator for Australian Agricultural Company (AACo), producers of Westholme. He’s trained with the Alain Ducasse Group, El Bulli Catering and at the Paco Roncero “Taller” laboratory.
We chat to him about the importance of ingredients and his big plans for his culinary future.
A chef portrait of Freddy Money
by Victoria Burrows
Freddy, you are now Executive Chef and Culinary Innovator for the Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) – what does this entail?
Innovation is a major part of this role. Most people are familiar with the fillet, rib eye and sirloin, but there are 36 different cuts on the animal, so what about the rest? Alternative cuts, or “Chef’s Cuts” are really understated cuts of the animal. Because of the unique intramuscular fat structure of Wagyu, it cooks differently to other breeds of cattle.
So in my role at the Australian Agricultural Company, I focus largely on researching and testing culinary techniques that bring out the best eating quality of different parts of the animal. From there, I share expertise of tried and tested cooking methods with Westholme chefs around the world, giving them ideas and inspirations to further develop recipes that reflect their own style of cooking.
Aside from culinary research and recipe development, I also actively participate in events that raise the global awareness of Westholme; from unique pop-up experiences to cooking demonstrations.
That sounds interesting – please tell us more.
As part of my role at AACo, I spearhead the Chef Innovation Programme – an initiative that advocates the freedom to explore underappreciated cuts, while showcasing the exceptional quality of Westholme through innovative recipes and cooking methods.
Most recently, I collaborated in a four hands dinner with Chef Jake Kowalewski from Salt grill & Sky bar in Singapore. Titled “Exploring the Westholme Rangelands”, the event, which is jointly organised by Culina, featured a 5-course menu inspired by the freedom of exploration of Westholme. The menu spotlighted a variety of cuts through a myriad of cooking techniques that best expressed the juicy succulence, silky texture and buttery flavours that are signature to Westholme.
I also work with the Westholme team to calibrate creative showcases aimed at gaining global recognition for Westholme. An example of such a showcase is the by-invite-only culinary demonstration which I hosted at Food & Hotel Asia 2018. The event was presented by Culina, Westholme’s exclusive distributor in Singapore.
You have a history in culinary innovation, working with Paco Roncero and El Bulli catering – what was this like?
My working experience in Spain is invaluable, and one that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I was surrounded by such passionate, friendly and inspiring chefs who instantly made me feel like I was part of a family. A dedicated family that worked closely and tirelessly towards the same goals.
I had the great opportunity to work with Adam Melonas (Founder of Chew in Boston) at Paco Roncero “Taller” (laboratory). There, I assisted with the creative and innovative aspects, experimenting with new techniques, flavour combinations and ingredients. I was left with a completely different outlook on cooking. I learned that there are no boundaries if you keep an open mind, and that there are many ways to get from A-Z when you are working with fantastic products.
El Bulli catering was another valuable experience. There, I participated in high-profile events that showcased some of the most talked about and ground-breaking dishes from El Bulli at that time.
You worked with the Alain Ducasse group, then opened the new grill restaurant at The Dorchester. What was the biggest thing you learned from this experience?
I had the chance to visit Paris and experienced many of Ducasse’s businesses. It is in my opinion, one of the finest restaurant groups in the world.
I learned French cuisine from the best – Jocelyn Herland and Jean Philippe Blondet were my mentors – and I had the opportunity to learn how to open a restaurant from scratch with the group. The team and I would finish service at the 3-Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse restaurant, and stay till late into the night to design and create dishes for the new grill menu.
With the Alain Ducasse group, I also learned how to appreciate the finest ingredients, and how to build and inspire a young team. I was very fortunate to have fostered lifelong friendships while working with the group.
So how would you now describe your cooking style, or don’t you have just one style?
Henry Brosi, Executive Chef at the Dorchester Hotel, once told me that in order to be the best in the business, I must understand all aspects of a large operation. Because of these wise words, I made sure I was exposed to a variety of cuisine styles and operations throughout my culinary career.
From 3-Michelin-star restaurants to catering and street food, I am a chef that can adapt. I understand that the consumer often wants variety, and I appreciate different cooking styles because I believe they all have a place if done well.
If I have to narrow it down to one culinary style, I would say my heart lies with modern cuisine. I take strong influence from the techniques I learned in Spain, and combine them with the purity of Alain Ducasse’s cuisine. I believe my style will continue to evolve, particularly since I am always curious, eager to learn and not afraid of risks or changes.
One thing that will not change though, is my passion for quality products and exceptional ingredients, such as Westholme.
What’s the future for you – where would you like to be in 5-10 years?
If all goes according to plan, I will be a restaurateur with a collection of different concepts that tell the story of my culinary journey.
Thank you, Chef Freddy, and we have every faith that you’ll make your dream come true.
Did you get hungry? Take a look at Freddy’s delicious recipe for Tri-tip Tartar with Bone Marrow.
You are also a great Chef and know some really tasty dishes? Join the network & show us your talent!