Since arriving in Australia Chef Emilio Llausas has made a name for himself working on the magical Dunk Island in a brigade of 24 international Chefs and it is here his passion for French cuisine was born. Whilst working for the Accor Group he competed in Assiette De Or judged by Justin North competing at the national level at the Sydney Fish Markets, the Annual Hunter Culinary Association hosted by Colin Fassnidge.
In asking Chef Emilio about himself he states with a slight grin looking off in the distance “well there isn’t much tell, I’m 5’4 and brown.” This is Chef Emilio’s sense of humour; he has no pretence and an understated humble approach to his passion and natural talents in the kitchen.
Born in the south of the Philippines; Cagayan de Oro City, he moved to Australia in 2006 after completing his Batchelor of Commerce, Chef Emilio pursued his passion for food. Inspired by his childhood and time in the Philippines; the family owned an agricultural business producing an array fruits and vegetables which they visited on the weekends; Emilio would cook for the farm workers and his family with the freshest ingredients.
His family wanting him to have a better life and put him on a plane to Australia, Chef Emilio recalls “I needed to work out what I could do that I would excel at and I have always loved to cook.” This passion was born from my mother, sharing her love of the traditional foods of the Philippines and attention to detail from being a quality controller in the Pines Hotel Group.
“My parents wanted me out of the Philippines, but that was so I could have a better future. I remember when I was younger I liked to wear nice clothes and my mother said you better have a good job so you can buy these luxurious things!”
Having cooked for Peter Fitzsimmons, Not quite Nigella, Gerry Swartz and his dog who likes his meat medium rare, The Hoodo Guru’s and Brian McGuigan a neighbour who frequents the restaurant.
Chef Emilio believes “you first eat with your eyes and the art of plating is essential but one must ensure it tastes as good as it looks.” Creating a menu that is without pretence he describes his style taking western food and enhancing it incorporating Asian flavours, French style utilising fresh local ingredients and enjoys using second cuts that normally forgotten.
This quiet and unassuming Chef is creating a culinary dining experience where he wants people to simply enjoy what food has to offer.