A respected historical figure once said: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Okay, it was Uncle Ben’s advice to Peter Parker before he became Spiderman but it rings true to the bars and restaurants taking part in A Table to End Hunger. As you know, it can take weeks, if not months, to secure a table at some of the country’s best dining locations. Many of these popular restaurants are donating their time and in-demand tables to the initiative that aims to end world hunger by 2030 while providing couples with an exquisite night out, come Valentine’s Day. Couples are given the chance to bid on tables for a meal for two and a bottle of wine on the busiest night of the year at their restaurant of choice.
Chef Tom Walton is lending support by opening the doors of his bar The Bucket List to the Initiative. Tom has built a reputation through food served at The Bucket List in Bondi and Deus Bar & Kitchen in Camperdown. Tom also managed to find time to launch Dux Nutts, a range of muesli and granola stocked across Australia and internationally. We sat down with Tom to discuss ‘celebrity chef’ status and throwing weight behind A Table to End Hunger.
What inspires you to cook for others?
I love to see peoples enjoyment when they are cooked for, its a lovely thing to be able to give.
What’s the key to making it as a young chef in the culinary industry?
Focus, passion, hustle, finding a healthy release, and not taking things too seriously all the time.
You’ve made quite a name for yourself: Chef, restaurateur and business director. Where will your ambition take you next?
I really enjoy the creative side, bringing new concepts and businesses, so I’d say more into this space. Working with some new projects that I enjoy both with others and on my own, maybe a book soon, that would be pretty great.
So no plan to follow Trump’s lead and host a reality show before running for parliament?
I as just going to go straight for first man on Mars… haha, no i’ll stick to my day job.
How do you find time to manage your business endeavours and raise a young family?
I don’t know, its a challenge. You can’t do it on your own. You need a great partner who supports you and you try to do the same. There is no better motivator than kids and wanting to give them the best future possible.
What inspired you to launch a range of muesli and granola?
I had been working on it for some time. It started as something I created for myself and friends, a nutritious breakfast and snack on the run. I then began growing it and with the help of my amazing partner, Cheyenne, we built it into Dux Nutts and now produce a range of 5 mueslis and granolas.
How does running Dux Nutts differ from running a kitchen?
There are some differences and some similarities – Its just the two of us at the moment so its very personal, your not really managing a team (so its less stressful). It’s also working as the seller trying to get buyers, selling to businesses and hustling to get new accounts. It’s very satisfying seeing it grow from ground up, especially when you get great feedback and its selling well.
A Table to End Hunger is an immensely worthwhile endeavour, how did you become involved?
It is an amazing initiative and one I wish I got involved with sooner. They approached me and I couldn’t be happier to do something for this cause. I’m in a very fortunate position and I don’t want to take it for granted so if there are ways I can use my successes to help others, I try too do what I can.
What’s The Bucket List serving up on Valentine’s Day?
Being summer, we’ll be dishing up all our favourites, fresh seafood, awesome salads & small plates. Perfect for sitting by the beach after a swim with your Valentine.
Do you have a signature dish or a meal you enjoy cooking over others?
I’m a salad kinda guy, but not rabbit food. I’m talking really wicked salads, packed full of flavour, hearty ingredients and texture to the max! When I make salads for other people it usually blows them away. Healthy, but not boring healthy.
Where would you like to dine with your partner on Valentine’s Day?
Anywhere kid free! With 2 kids, just to share a meal we weren’t rushing would be nice!