Chefs Reunite To Shape New Little Valley Menu
Former Rick Shores Sous Chef Simon Hanmer has officially joined our family, reigniting a creative partnership with Little Valley Head Chef and good friend, Jake Pregnell.
It’s the first time the duo have linked up in an official capacity since their time together at the hatted Rick Shores - our sister restaurant on the beach at Burleigh Heads. A chef with a flair for creative savoury dishes and desserts, Hanmer arrives after a stint heading up the kitchen at Spice Bar on the Sunshine Coast.
“I like introducing people to things that they're not going to get at home. That to me is what coming to a restaurant should be about. Getting something that you can't do at home, but without complicating it.”
One of the more interesting new desserts spearheaded by Hanmer is a chocolate parfait that incorporates Tea Tree Mushroom - an ingredient that Hanmer had been sizing up for some time and finally had the opportunity to use.
“It's a pretty old-school Chinese ingredient. We only get them dried in Australia, as far as I know. I've never seen them fresh in Australia. Essentially they’re used in medicinal teas and stocks. They're not usually a sweet sort of thing. Flavour profile - they're really, really earthy and when you smell the dry ones they just smell like cocoa. Hence how we got the idea to put them with chocolate.”
Despite being apart from each other in the kitchen for a number of years, Hanmer notes that he and Pregnell continued to play football together and often used each other as a sounding board for different ideas they were working on.
Their work dynamic and personalities play a big role in their ability to create together.
“We don't step on each others toes and we’re both good at different things, so we just go about our business and stay out of each other's way. I guess I'm a bit more of a loudmouth, Jake is pretty quiet - that would be the best way to explain it.”
Typhoon-shelter chicken and Chinese 'Bolognese' to Prawn Toasties, and a dessert using fresh Tea Tree Mushrooms.