Chef Adrian Wright has been in the industry for over 30 years, and was both formally and classically trained at the Garrick Club in London under the supervision of Lord Spencer’s Executive Head Chef.
From these grassroots he has applied himself to a variety of culinary styles over the years, leading him to his distinguished position as Executive Head Chef at the Royal Albert Hall. Adrian left London with his wife and family over 20 years ago and has since been focused on bringing good food to people without the sizeable price tag. He and his wife Angela have now settled on the Gold Coast which has led them to their latest venture – fish and chips with a twist at The Strand.
Q: Coming from a 5-star background in kitchens around the world, how does the laid back oceanfront setting of Coolangatta compare?
A: The bigger cities have a much greater flair for the fine dining cuisine which is my passion and what I’m accustomed to, but owning a business on the southern Gold Coast with its more relaxed way of life is much more preferable. In saying that, we’ve brought the qualities of five-star cooking to Selfish with strict guidelines of sourcing fresh local produce, taking pride in the cooking process and looking after the oils that food is cooked in, along with an unprecedented high level of customer service.
Q: Why fish and chips?
A: The simplistic favourite, fish and chips, has lost its way and the product is not being treated with the respect it deserves. Fish and chips is well-loved all round the world and here in Australia we have some of the best waters for fresh seafood, yet many places are serving third rate fish that is frozen or pre-battered and crumbed. I believe that if you part with your money your return should deliver more – what I call the feel-good factor. If you invest $15 for your fish and chips, you should get $20 worth of value back through the surroundings, the service and the food – that is my mission.
Q: What is your point of difference at Selfish?
A: Selfish offers a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for casual dining and is fully licensed. Diners can stop in for a cold beer or a chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot, with some fresh prawns and oysters or even a hot and cold seafood platter for two. Special dietary requirements are catered for as fish is grilled with no flour and chips are fried in their own oil, so people who are gluten intolerant can still enjoy their favourite snack.
All meals are cooked to order with no pre-battering or crumbing of any produce, even on our busiest days like public holidays and Good Friday. This is to ensure we maintain the same high standard of good food all year round.
Q: Where do you source your seafood and produce from?
A: Produce used in the restaurant is sourced from as far south as Ballina in NSW and as far north as the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. The menu is simple offering the choice to dine in or takeaway with a selection of fresh prawns, oysters and fresh fish portions to take home from the display counter.