We caught up with Cameron Matthews, Executive Chef & General Manager at the Multi Hatted, Long Apron Restaurant and luxury retreat Spicers Clovelly Estate.
Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do
I am an avid supporter of everything local, I believe that we live in one the best places on earth and love to share it with our guests, be it through our cuisine, our produce, our people or our area.
How long have you lived on the Sunshine Coast and why do you love it here?
My Family and I move to the Coast five and half years ago, although Montville has felt like home since I first visited in 2000. Being a chef is a major part of my life and the Suppliers and produce on the coast and in the hinterland are world-class. There aren’t many places that that I have found that offer the amazing diversity, the relaxed but professional people and the incredible scenery that the you find here.
How does the Sunshine Coast inspire your work and creativity?
The natural beauty of the area inspires our food every day. We’re working towards creating a cuisine with a true “terroir” – a time and place if you will, indicative of where the range is here and now.
What is your favourite outdoor activity?
I love getting down to the beach and fishing with my twins Joel & Chiara, who are seven, and taking our eldest daughter Eva, who is 11, to try the awesome range of cafes and restaurants near the coast.
Are there any new openings in the area that can’t be missed?
‘Little May Espresso’ in Montville has just opened, and I may be biased because Rich the Chef there was my Sous Chef for 3 years, but the food and the coffee are superb.
Have you got a favourite beach?
As a family we love Happy Valley in Caloundra, it’s a great spot to watch the kite surfers, ships coming and going, fishing, picnics, cafes, swimming and surfing. One spot for every occasion.
How would you spend your perfect evening on the Sunshine Coast?
In Summer, it would be eating something simple (but amazing quality) on a BBQ at the beach as the sun sets and birds are coming in to roost. In Winter, I’d have dinner with my wife Leanne by an open fire up on the range, enjoying the cold.
Where is your favourite local’s hangout?
Lambkin Lane in Caloundra. It’s a café that belongs to Tim Adams, barista of the year… it’s got great coffee, what more can I say!
What’s your favourite time of year on the Sunshine Coast and why?
Every season on the range is different. I love them all. We are so lucky that in the hinterland over winter you can sit by fire for breakfast then surf in the afternoon. The seasons help us be creative and keep us fresh as cooks too. It’s nice to have a cold season, where we cook the bigger more robust flavours.