A CHAT WITH OUR FOOD, WINE & DINING EXPERTS Dale Payne – The Cheeky Squire, 510 Nepean Highway, Frankston

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Frankly Frankston has a cheeky chat with the very passionate foodie Dale Payne, head chef at The Cheeky Squire in Frankston. With 12 years’ experience under his belt, he’s created quite a stir in Frankston since the eatery opened in June.

What is the most popular menu item at The Cheeky Squire?

That would have to be our slow-cooked sticky lamb ribs.  The meat is really tender and falls right off the bone.

What is the concept of the menu?

Our concept consisted of teaming up with James Squire and matching craft beer with our delicious casual, modern-style pub grazing menu, designed to be shared with family and friends.

What trend are you loving at the moment?
 A “grocerant”, which is a mixture of a restaurant and a retail store in which restaurants sell the fresh produce they cook.

What is most rewarding about your job; what makes it all worthwhile?

Making a difference in terms of the success of our business and the personal success and development of our team. Plus it’s always good to know when a customer loves their experience at The Cheeky Squire.

Please tell us a little about your professional background?

I completed my qualification at William Angliss and have been working in hospitality as a qualified chef for over nine years. I have had the privilege to have worked with a number of Melbourne's most talented chefs over the years, sharing recipes, learning and developing new styles of cooking and learning different techniques. My recent qualification as a certified trainer has allowed me to train and assess students wanting to excel in hospitality. I'm currently working as a head chef and I'm very passionate about training and development within the workplace, demonstrating new techniques, teamwork, leadership, coaching and team motivation.

What is your style in the kitchen?

Fast-paced, collaborative, agile and energetic. I like to empower my team to get things done. I don't believe in a dictatorship style.

Now that spring is here, what ingredients would you be using in your new menu?

Artichokes, asparagus, sugar snap peas and broad beans - all delicious ingredients.

When you’re not in the kitchen, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I really enjoy spending time with my family and friends, going out to restaurants and trendy cafes. I love going to the local market to see what fresh ingredients are available and in season. I also enjoy watching soccer and training at the gym.

Any advice for aspiring chefs?

Listen, communicate, research, network, set goals, go above and beyond, be humble and create a great leadership team.