Kenny Graham

NameKenny Graham
RestaurantMary's
CitySydney
CuisineBurgers

Please tell us more about yourself in your own words…
I’m 35, I’m Scottish, I’ve lived in Australia for seven years with my wife Aimee and now our almost 2-year-old daughter Hunter. I’ve worked in hospitality for over 17 years and still get a massive buzz from going to a great restaurant and eating delicious food. I’m old enough that I appreciate the true beauty of natural landscapes and scenery but young enough that I still think it’s okay to get hammered on a Tuesday for no reason.

Biggest culinary influence?
I’d have to be very cliché and say French food/cooking is my biggest influence and inspiration in the kitchen. The more butter the better! Since moving to Australia however my mind gets blown continuously with the level and standard of Asian food. Something I am enjoying exploring more and more.

Food philosophy?
Food is only as good as its beginnings. The farming and environment must be great to produce great products. The demand is so high that the pressure it places on farming is immense. A poor season can be catastrophic and that’s why we should support those farmers doing the good work as much as possible.

The perfect burger is…?
Greasy, salty, cheesy, beefy, grass-fed, crispy, soft, juicy, sweet, pickled, toasted bun, rich, doubled, smoky, unintimidating but offensive, accompanied by salty fries, overly-ripe tomatoes, enjoyed right at the end of a hangover, not wagyu, not 10 inches high, not too pretty.

What did you grow up eating?
Keep in mind that I grew up in Scotland. Mince ‘n’ tatties, grilled cheese and branston pickle, chips “n” curry sauce, burgers from the golf club, meat paste sandwiches. It may sound gross but I would still smash any of those plates of food right now!! I think working in restaurants was a good thing for the expansion of my culinary horizon.

What can audiences expect from you at the Festival in March?
An experience that is accompanied by a burger. For us, the overall sound, atmosphere and fun has been as important as the food you came to eat. We love a good burger but we love a bloody good time even more!

If you had to take a wild guess, what do you think we’ll be eating in 25 years?
Whatever it is it’s guaranteed to be expensive. World food trends seem to shift around the continents. We’re almost done with Scandinavia, Central and South Americas are next, maybe modern Australian will just be called “Australian” by that time and it will have its time in the sun, literally.