If you don’t count cooking with his mum in the family teahouse, Dennis Tierney started his apprenticeship at the two-hat restaurant, Fins, in Byron Bay. There he worked with the incredibly talented Masaaki Saito and under head chefs Dorothy Zagarella, Matt Upson, Phil Woolaston, Shane Clancy and Imrahil Leeder, as well as executive head chef and owner Steven Snow.
With these inspirations around him, it’s no wonder he was promoted to Sous chef half way through his third year. Later, he moved to Sydney and worked in the high-paced, big kitchens of Aria, Bilson’s and Bel Mondo. While at Bel Mondo, Matt Upson offered him a job at five-star resort Capella Lodge on World-Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island. He had never heard of it. But it was hard to resist the idea of a tiny sub-tropical island perched 800 kilometres off the east coast of Australia with more diving, walking and fishing than you could possibly handle.
After six years at Arajilla, Dennis was keen for new adventured that didn’t take him away from his beloved Island. Pinetrees Lodge offered him a new culinary experience specialising in garden to table relaxed fine dining. Dennis’s keen interest in the local environment led him to delve into the world of foraging and this is embraced at Pinetrees. Dennis has kept up to date with modern culinary trends and techniques through workshops with famous chefs for Pinetrees’ food and wine week as well as staging in restaurants such as Benelong and Quay in Sydney. The journey and experiences across the three restaurants has fortified strong friendships and identified Lord Howe Island as a place for The Stranded Chef to call home.
Dennis has been working on his first cookbook for over 5 years and will be ready to release The Stranded Chef soon.