Lifestyle | Food & Wine, Media, Motivational, Business
Executive Chef of The European Group venues, Ian Curley must be one of the busiest Chef’s in Melbourne. With three venues, three kitchens and multiple menus to oversee, his work is never done!
Ian was born in Coventry, England in 1964. After studying and working in the UK for several years, he moved to Australia in 1988.
Ian worked as Head Chef at “The Point” from 1996, honing his skill and style. After three years he moved to “Stella”, Spring Street, Melbourne. He went back to “The Point” in 2001 as Executive Chef of the whole group, overseeing the myriad of different spaces, from formal dining to café space.
At the same time, “Stella” was being taken over to become “The Melbourne City Wine Shop” by owners Con Christopoulos and Josh Brisbane of neighbouring restaurant “The European”. So unknowingly Ian was being groomed for the job back at “home” on Spring Street and Con and Josh were building on a unique, iconic business that was meant for a chef of Ian’s calibre and style. Ian’s food, generous, unpretentious and championing the produce sits perfectly alongside Con and Josh’s ethos on food and the spirit of “The European”. So when he took the reins, the businesses thrived. The busy, bustling European became busier, with extended opening hours becoming a favourite for late night supper for fellow chefs and front of house in the industry. “The Supper Club” food continued to thrive in matching its opulent, graceful but relaxed surroundings and the beautiful rooftop “Siglo” was born, along with private function space in “The Tearoom”. Ian took it all in his stride and is now responsible for 3 separate kitchens that work together harmoniously, amazing considering they are functioning almost 24/7.
Ian is well known and respected in the industry as being firm but fair. He is extremely willing to give time and knowledge to young chefs and his kitchens always house work of experienced enthusiasts. He loves the idea of feeding the industry and giving back to it. Not having quite enough to do, Ian volunteers himself for a variety of different charity work. From working hands on with clients with drug and alcohol issues through St Vincent De Paul, to having his skills and time auctioned off to raise money for Starlight and The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. He also has two baby girls Cooper, 2 and Cassidy, 2 months. In his very scarce spare time, Ian loves golfing and supporting his beloved Chelsea Football Club.
In February 2011 Ian helmed Network Seven's “Conviction Kitchen”, a ground-breaking reality program following twelve convicted criminals as they are shown the skills to work within a high-profile restaurant.