Chef Profile: Julianne Lever

Our Continental Chefs

Chef Profile: Julianne Lever

Julianne is our Lead Chef at Continental. 
She was always going to be involved with food in some way. On her 8th birthday her dad gave her a cookbook with a message inscribed, “I hope you become a great chef”. 
Julianne loves everything about food. When she thinks of her travels and life experiences, her strongest memories are of food, its origins, and its people. She’s tried pâtés, terrines and rillettes in France, Black Forest cake in the Black Forest of southern Germany, lamb and beef kofta in Turkey and freshly caught sea urchin on a boat off the coast of the Mediterranean....experiences she will never forget. 
Julianne has worked in many areas of the food industry. She trained at the Intercontinental and Regent Hotels under Lother Winkler and Serge Dansereau, two of the most experienced chefs at that time. After learning the trade in several top end Sydney hotels and restaurants, Julianne worked as Sous Chef at Catalina Rose Bay, which was and remains one of Sydney’s best restaurants. 
Julianne then opened her own award winning restaurant in Sydney, Cloudstreet at Kirribilli. She has also taught commercial cookery at Le Cordon Blue and held private cooking classes for the public, and now has her own gourmet food company making pâtés, terrines and fruit pastes that she owns and runs with her fiancée. Julianne brings a wealth of experience to her role at Continental – and a whole heap of passion. She loves the job, and simply loves being able to inspire and enable mums to make great tasting, nutritious food for their families. 

What do you love about food?

It’s the essence of life, it brings people and families together, and helps celebrate special moments. All my family memories have food at their core. 

If you weren’t a chef what would you be doing?

Oooh, difficult question. Maybe a butcher? I’d still be involved with food in some way – I love it too much, not just the food but also the people you meet along the way.

What’s the most useful tool a chef can have?

A sharp knife. It can do anything. Before blenders we just had knives.

What’s your Top Tip(s) for home chefs?

Don’t try too hard. Keep it simple. Remember, if you make a mistake, you can usually correct it, or turn it into something else!

Favourite dish to cook and why?

Slow-cooked pork. In fact, slow-cooked anything. I love all slow-cooked food – letting the pot and the cooking do the work to blend great flavours and tastes over time.

Favourite dish to eat and why?

Pâtés and terrines, anything involving duck or pork.  I love all regional French and Italian food. Saying that though our week night dinner is usually a quick Asian inspired meal. I love the different spices, herbs and sauces that instantly combine to thrill and excite your taste buds.

What food ingredient couldn’t you live without?

A good selection of whole spices – you can do so much with them and they are used in every type of cuisine around the world.

What makes a good chef?

Knowledge, passion and feel for the ingredients and cooking techniques – and that comes with time, practice and an interest in food.