WA News Celebrity Profiles 10 Minutes With...Hadleigh and Carolynne Troy
10 Minutes With...Hadleigh and Carolynne Troy
Written by Ms Jan Hallam
Friday, 02 November 2012

 

Carolynne-and-Hadleigh-Troy Oct12-245x502Hadleigh Troy - "we are aware that we can never be complacent or rest on our laurels"

Restaurant Amuse’s reputation has spread far and wide. For its owners, feeding diners is a labour of love.

Hadleigh:

Where did you grow up?

Perth! My family wasn’t foodie at all.

What did you love to eat when you were a kid?

McDonald’s, terrible I know.

What prompted you to choose a life as a chef?

School wasn’t going so well for me, which was probably due to the fact that I spent more time at the beach than in the classroom, so I had to join the workforce. I completed my apprenticeship in three different restaurants. After I qualified, I went to work at The Loose Box then Jackson’s. I made the move to Melbourne to work at Langton’s under Philippe Mouchel then we moved to London where I worked at The Greenhouse in Mayfair and La Noisette in Knightsbridge before heading home in 2007 to open up Restaurant Amusé.

What brought you and Carolynne back to Perth?

Carolynne’s mum was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, so we wanted to be here to support her. After many years away it was lovely to come home and realise our dream with our family and friends around us. When we opened Restaurant Amuse we didn’t have any big expectations, we just wanted to have a successful business where we could put our training into practice, pay our bills and produce something that people would enjoy and that we could be proud of.

You have won so many local and national awards, most recently GT’s best WA restaurant and the Hottest WA Restaurant, what catches the judges’ eyes, do you think?

Consistency – we are aware that we can never be complacent or rest on our laurels. For us, it’s the feedback from our guests every night that is the most important thing.

You tied with Peter Gilmore’s Quay for the Hottest Dish 2012, so what’s the dish?

It’s a coddled free-range hen’s egg with coriander and pine nut butter, crispy chicken skins, seven different varieties of mushrooms from Bunkers Farm in Narrogin and freshly baked brioche, all smoked with hickory.

Carolynne:

Where did you meet Hadleigh?

We met at Araluen Country Club in Roleystone 14 years ago. We were both working there at the time. I was working in restaurants while I was studying at university and left the industry for a couple of years after graduating but was quickly drawn back when we moved to Melbourne.

You and Hadleigh have a powerful working partnership. How do you switch off?

We lived at the restaurant for the first 3 ½ years, so that made it very hard to switch off. Now we live around the corner and do our best to make our Sundays a day off from the restaurant. This is easier said than done as the restaurant for us is all-consuming. However, we are very good at separating our work from our relationship because we greatly respect each other’s roles within the business.

Your wine list is a digest, but such a lot of fun to read. Is it fun to pull it together?

It’s my passion and it’s time consuming, but I can’t say it’s a tough gig. As I wear several hats at the restaurant, I unfortunately can only set aside about 10 hours a week to taste new wines, meet winemakers and curate the list. The list is continually evolving and the ink is barely dry before it gets a reprint!

Both of You:

What would you like to be doing in five years’ time?

At this stage we intend to wrap Restaurant Amusé up in 2017 and move on to our next project, which is up in the air at the moment. Perhaps it will be a simple sandwich shop if Carolynne gets her way!

After a long Saturday night, what do you do? What do you eat?

We sit down with our entire team over a cold beer and debrief! We have a team meal at 5pm every night, so we tend not to eat after service. However, about once a month we get a late-night delivery as a treat, which is usually our local Chinese.

What would be your last meal?

Hadleigh: Spaghetti Bolognese Carolynne: Oysters and Champagne

** Hadleigh will be appearing at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape from November 22-25. See the competitions page for your chance to win entry tickets to the Gourmet Village.