28 October 2022

Five minutes with Joel Miller, The Alby

Chef Joel at The Alby – he says the fun is on the specials menu! Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Who is Joel Miller? I am the new head chef at The Alby in Woden, after spending the last four years working at Hotel Realm.

Best dining experience: A few of my most memorable dining adventures would have to be Sepia in Sydney for a birthday lunch a few years ago, as well as being looked after by my good chef friend, Johnny Walker, at Paper Daisy in Cabarita Beach, on the coastline of Northern NSW. Wow! What a night.

Favourite Cuisine: French cuisine would have to be my most enjoyed, from the simple preparation to the intricate flavours and textures. I have a strong interest and love of cooking modern European food.

Most embarrassing fridge or pantry item: Instant chicken noodle cups.

What ingredient can you not live without? One thing I couldn’t cook without is an oven – a magic little thing!

Bowl of food

Joel’s take on fish and chips; salmon with potato wedges, and a beetroot, orange and fennel salad. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Next big thing in the Canberra food scene: I will keep you posted.

What’s your go-to coffee spot? A shoutout to Lucky Shot in Kippax.

A must-try on your menu: Try our ever-changing Specials Menu. It is where the fun is at.

Biggest Culinary Influence: I have had several influencers across my career, but the main ones would have to be Cameron Harmer, chef and meat-man around town (or used to be), Darren Vaughan, who was the chef at Waters Edge when it first opened, Scott Picket from Melbourne, and finally Matt Kemp from Balzac in Sydney. The way Matt moved, and inspired people was amazing.

Building on fire

Chef Joel lost several beloved cookbooks in a fire at Pialligo Estate in 2017. Photo: Region.

Favourite Cookbook: The French Laundry is a ripper of a book as well as the Larousse Gastronomique cookbook, but I lost this one along with many others in the Farmhouse fire at Pialligo Estate.

Where are you travelling next? No travel plans at the moment, staying put for now.

Death-row meal: My last meal would be one of two things – Mum’s roast or a good ham and cheese toastie. You don’t need much more than that.

Least favourite food: I love all food, so I prefer to tell people what I like, rather than what I don’t like. When it’s cold, you can’t beat pasta, risotto or good stew. When it’s hot, I will never say no to a good Aussie King Prawn or a perfect cut of steak and salad.


Chef Joel refuels at Lucky Shot in Kippax during the dark days of COVID. Photo: Region.

COVID-19 response: COVID was hard on everyone in hospitality, but onwards and upwards!

Top three recipe tips:

  • Have fun
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • You must make mistakes to learn, so don’t get disheartened if it doesn’t work. Learn from it and try again.

The Alby is open from Tuesday to Friday, from 11 am until late, and on weekends from 8:30 am until late, with breakfast from 8:30 am until 11:30 am. Check the website for the sports schedule in the Basement Bar. Find The Alby at 45 Furzer Street, Phillip.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

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