Kiara Buckby – Sous Chef, Denman Cellars Beer Cafe

I started my cooking career in 2006 at Tall Timbers Hotel on the north west coast of Tasmania.
Moving to Airlie Beach Queensland in 2007 I worked in various venues including a steakhouse and pizza shop before gaining a Sous Chef position at Village Cafe Restaurant and Bar.
After some time off to have two children I returned to work as the cook at the local child care preparing 3 meals a day for 80 fussy children. I returned to Tafe to complete my certificate 3 in 2013.
I then worked as Sous Chef at Sorrento Restaurant and Bar serving traditional and contemporary Italian cuisine.

In 2014 I become Head Chef of Mai Saigon a Vietnamese Restaurant in the heart of Airlie Beach. It was a huge challenge and long days training with Mai’s mother (who spoke no english) and Tony the Operations Manager who had come from Vietnam. It was well worth the effort as I don’t believe there are many Australian chefs who get the opportunity to be trained in Vietnamese (Mekong style) cuisine. The abundance of fresh herbs and produce in Vietnamese cuisine is amazing and the flavour combinations are so unique you cant help but fall in love with it.
Sadly Airlie Beach relies a lot on tourism and with the worst quiet season in 10 years upon us Mai Saigon closed its doors.
I am now working as Sous Chef at Denman Cellars Beer Cafe, which after 3 years of operation is no. 2 on Trip Advisor. Located at the new Port of Airlie complex over looking the marina it’s the perfect location for a long lunch or special occasion.
With an extensive tapas menu we are constantly trying to push the limits and create new and exciting flavour combinations. I am looking forward to revealing our new menu with the addition of my new favourite dessert Bacon, stout and chocolate cheesecake