After finishing up at the Charing Cross Hotel, Matt Kemp has taken the reigns as executive chef at one of Sydney’s historic venues, Q Station, including the Boilerhouse restaurant. The chef has been consulting for Q Station for the past two-and-a-half years, but as of April is at the old quarantine station full-time, steering its new culinary direction.

“It’s a beautiful site and I know the potential that’s here to create something really quite extraordinary,” says Kemp of the venue, which is on 30 hectares of Sydney Harbour national park at North Head. “I’m excited to grab hold of the whole thing and I want to work on every part.”

The chef is enjoying the drama of the open kitchen and plans to bring that theatre into other parts of the dining experience, including being more involved in the outdoor dining space. The new menu includes Moolooloba tuna with Hiramasa yellowtail kingfish, Vietnamese dressing and native finger limes; terrine of pheasant and confit pork jowl with truffled quail egg; and 24-hour-braised beef cheek with white-bean and truffle puree, roasted artichokes and Tuscan cabbage.

“You hear people go on about letting the food and produce speak for itself,” laughs Kemp. “I agree, but I’m also a chef and I want to show my skills off.” The Englishman is known for his time at Restaurant Balzac and Montpellier Public House in Randwick. “I know the produce, the seasons and I have great contacts. I want to bring all of that to the table without being too fussy.” Kemp jokes that he will have to split himself into four to manage all the aspects of the venue, particularly because he’s passionate about offering bespoke experiences for private events, but insists that he will be highly visible in the Boilerhouse kitchen.

Q Station Boilerhouse Restaurant & Bar
North Head Scenic Drive, Manly
(02) 9466 1511

Mon to Thu 6pm–10pm
Fri to Sun 12pm–2.30pm, 6pm–10pm