Jordan Hajek is Chef de Cuisine at Atelier by Sofitel at the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour hotel. He began his culinary career in Australia working in renowned kitchens, including at Level 41 and Est. in Sydney, and Top Paddock in Melbourne. He then moved overseas, landing a coveted role at René Redzepi’s famed Noma in Copenhagen.

 

Now back Down South, we chat to Chef Jordan about what diners are really looking for from a meal and what makes Noma such a stand-out restaurant.

 

So, Chef, you’ve worked in top kitchens in Sydney and Melbourne – how do you think your upbringing and training as a chef in Australia has affected your cooking?

Australia has such a broad demographic of chefs and I have been fortunate enough to have trained under some of the best.

 

You’ve also trained at Noma – was there anything that surprised you about working for Rene Redzepi?

Technique. The dishes may look simple but the hours that have gone into preparing every element of the dish is next level. He and Noma deserve to be one of the best; based on their dedication and determination to forward gastronomy.

 

Did you notice any difference in approach to cooking or running a restaurant in Europe versus Australia?

Australia has broad knowledge-backed chefs. In Europe many chefs are traditionally trained in their own cuisines, applying these techniques to other cuisines. Australia, however, has some of the best produce available, in my opinion.

 

How would you describe your cooking style now?

If I had to say now, I would say a foundation of traditional French European with an influence of Nordic and Japanese. However this changes all the time as I explore, learn and try new things.

 

How would you describe what you are doing at Atelier by Sofitel?

Unpretentious French / Mediterranean food with an underlying respect for seasonal produce and quality over quantity.

 

What are the big trends in food in Sydney and Melbourne these days – what are diners looking for from a meal?

I think people want simple, good, relatable food with an added “wow”. Yes, I love to still do experimental food from time to time, however the path we have taken at Atelier is true to what, I believe, people want.

 

Does Australia offer good opportunities for talented and dedicated chefs?

Absolutely, but you have to work for it.

 

How do you see your future career – would you like to run your own restaurant one day? If so, what kind of restaurant would it be?

For now, my focus is Atelier and Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour and making it a success. However, a restaurant of my own is definitely on the cards! Highly seasonal, where the menu changes and concentrates on what’s best. Even 100% vegetarian, or seafood focused, isn’t off the cards.

 

Thank you, Chef Jordan, and all the best from us here at Cook Concern. Check out his recipe here.

 

Are you an ambitious cook with a desire for a career? Are you interested in working for the international Sofitel Hotel Group, or perhaps directly with Jordan Hajek’s team at the Atelier at the Sofitel restaurant in Sydney, Australia?  Check our vacancies and send us your application: https://careers.accor.com/Home.aspx

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Atelier is a French inspired grill combining the flavours of the South of  France with locally sourced produce. Discover a selection of succulent meats and seafood inspired by the seasons and grilled to perfection. Complete your dining experience with one of our creative desserts and exceptional wines from Australia, France and around the world. Find out more:

https://www.sofitelsydneydarlingharbour.com.au/dining/atelier-by-sofitel/