Prepare your taste buds for a journey through the extraordinary culinary career of Chef Donovan Cooke. With a foundation laid at the renowned Waterside Inn alongside Michel Roux and a meteoric rise to Head Chef at Marco Pierre White's Harvey's at just 23, Cooke has become a maestro in the world of French gastronomy. From crafting a haven of classical French dishes at est est est in Melbourne to achieving legendary status with Ondine and securing multiple awards, including Chef of the Year by the Melbourne The Age Good Food Guide in 2003 and 2004, his culinary ambition is immaculate.
Just a few months ago in October, Cooke opened the doors to his newest venture that seeks to create a genuine dining experience rich with unpretentious artisan cuisine- Donovan. The atmosphere is inviting and elegant, the 8-course menu serves contemporary and innovative European dishes, and the chef is excited to demonstrate his exquisite skills. Join us as we delve into the stories of the talented chef, Donovan Cooke.
1. How would you describe your culinary philosophy?
I believe that all of the plant or animal should be used, nothing should be wasted. l am very conscious of waste. I love to make sauces using the bones and trimming of the proteins and vegetables is a sustainable mentality.
2. What is the philosophy of Donovan’s cuisine?
I change the menu monthly focusing on seasonal items, giving my guests a brand new experience every time they are at Donovan.
3. What do you aim to bring to Hong Kong’s culinary scene with Donovan?
I would like to show Hong Kong the whole Donovan with no restriction. As I previously had, also bring back classic combinations with a modern spin, seasonally changing the menu. Give my guests a totally new experience and also will tailor make menus with the favourite dishes from previous menus.
"I would like to show Hong Kong the whole Donovan with no restriction."
- Executive Chef Donovan Cooke, Donovan
4. What do you love the most about Hong Kong?
I love that I have access to all the best products from around the world not like I had in Australia and the diners have a vast knowledge about food and understand great food and wine.
5. Can you share with us a piece of advice for aspiring chefs who are looking to open their own personal venture?
The advice I would share is, knowledge is everything, working in as many fine dining restaurants as possible, learning aspects of the kitchen, butchery, pastry, meat, vegetables, fish, etc……hard work, and homework, write everything down to build a solid database of recipes, and techniques.
6. What do you hope the guests will take away from dining at Donovan?
An excitement about every visit as the menu, ingredients will be constantly changing and evolving.