Collie chef feeds the famous

THERE are not many locals who get the chance to cook for the world's rich and famous.

But former Collie man Scott Hallsworth has done just that, cooking for the likes of Michael Jackson, Victoria Beckham and Renee Zellweger.

Now after years of flitting around the world cooking at world-famous restaurants, he is opening his own restaurant in London.

Mr Hallsworth was born in Collie, attending St Brigid's and St Edmund's schools.

His parents, Bob Hallsworth and Veronica Richards, still reside in Collie today.

But Mr Hallsworth had bigger fish to fry, literally, leaving Collie in 1991 to start his chef apprenticeship at the Lord Forrest Hotel in Bunbury.

At the time the hotel had a bistro, as well Barons fine dining restaurant.

Mr Hallsworth got to work under ex- Roux brothers chef Alain Doisneau, who according to Scott "kicked me around a bit".

He eventually made the move to Perth, working at 44 King Street and the Hyatt.

When he won apprentice of the year, he go the opportunity to travel to Queensland with the state team.

"That exposed me to a lot of different things," he said, speaking from London this week.

Mr Hallsworth said he always knew he wanted to be a chef.

"It's creative, its satisfying, I get a kick out it and it makes people happy," he said.

His first move over seas to further his career was to Torronto, Canada.

"It gave me an opportunity to work with different ingredients, with things I had only read about it," he said.

"The working environment was really different, it was really competitive, you really have to push hard and fight."

His work eventually took him to Switzerland, after a friend opened a boutique hotel in Manahan Mountain.

After a quick stint back in Australia, one of his best friend's, Bunbury man Mike Brown, said he was opening a restaurant in France and encourage Mr Hallsworth to come along.

"We had a real Asian focus," he said.

"We would make a green curry out of rabbit, and they would say 'what are you doing, you have to make stew'," he said.

But Mr Hallsworth had his sights set on going to London, somewhere he had always wanted to go.

"Chefs always look up to the big cities," he said.

"I rocked up with a bike and a backpack and got a job in a couple of days at Nobu."

Nobu is the worlds most recognised Japanese restaurant, known for its innovative new style cuisine and celebrity following. 

"He (Nobu Matsuhisa) created a boom in modern Japanese food," Mr Hallsworth said.

Here he learnt all aspects of Japanese cuisine, and got to mix with famous celebrities.

"I once did a surprise birthday party for Victoria Beckham, they flew me out to Madrid to organise it," he said.

He also cooked for Renee Zellweger while she was on location in the Isle of Man, and shook the hand of Michael Jackson.

"He came into Nobu and asked for the chef, and I was head chef at the time," Mr Hallsworth said.

"I came out and shook his hand and he asked me about the menu."

Mr Hallsworth admitted he was so nervous he could hardly remember what was on the menu.

He eventually got the opportunity to open Nobu restaurant in Melbourne, but left because he wanted to establish his own name.

He worked in Australia, Dubai and then eventually ended back up in London, where he is now about to launch his own restaurant, Kurobuta, a traditional Japanese style pub serving small plates of food and drink.

"I will be able to set the scene as a restauranteur," he said

"What ever creativity I have in the kitchen, I can transfer that into the dining room."

Running a restaurant will be a chance for Mr Hallsworth to step up into new challenges, with about 30 staff under him, and learning to know his market.

"It is not just about fine dining anymore, its got to be fun, there is a real mid market, I want it to to have a rock and roll feel," he said

"This will be a good time to expand on my knowledge."

Now he cannot wait to open the doors to Kurobuta on September 26 to feel the "buzz", as he calls it, when the first customers walk through the doors.

His favourite item on the menu is a humble steam pork belly bun, which has been cooked for more than eight hours and then barbecued.

"Us Aussies have to barbecue everything," he says.

"Then I put a spicy peanut sauce on it and a lovely soft bun, that's my favourite."

His food is contemporary Japanese, like what you would see in Japan, a place he has visited about four times.

Mr Hallsworth plans to expand Kurobuta in the future to East London and hopefully New York and the Middle East.

"Who knows where it will take us," he said.

Masterchef: Since leaving Collie, Scott Hallsworth has cooked his way around the world, feeding the rich and famous. Now he is opening his own restaurant, Kurobuta, in London. Photo Greg Salvatori.

Masterchef: Since leaving Collie, Scott Hallsworth has cooked his way around the world, feeding the rich and famous. Now he is opening his own restaurant, Kurobuta, in London. Photo Greg Salvatori.

This story Collie chef feeds the famous first appeared on Collie Mail.