Dave Verheul

NameDave Verheul
RestaurantEmbla, The Town Mouse
CityMelbourne
CuisineModern Australian

Biggest culinary influence?
I’m not sure I have a biggest singular influence, I’ve worked for some great chefs and restaurateurs who’ve all taught me different things. Nowadays, influences come through reading, eating out or my suppliers.

Food philosophy?
Delicious, produce-driven food, with a focus on technique and balance, presented in an unexpected way.

What did you grow up eating?
I grew up eating meat and three veg, I don’t think I even ate pasta until I was in my early teens. My family used to hunt a lot, we ate a lot of wild duck, pork, venison and rabbit. I still to this day think wild NZ venison is the best I’ve had anywhere.

Why do you love cooking over fire?
Cooking with fire is all about flavour. I think we’re all naturally drawn to the flavour cooking over fire produces and working like this everyday is like learning to cook again.

If you had to take a wild guess, what do you think we’ll be eating in 25 years?
Hopefully something made and grown by humans!