Kiwi Alumnus Joshua Ross
Wellington-born Joshua Ross quickly confirmed his passion for the culinary arts while interning at Logan Brown, one of Wellington's iconic fine dining restaurants founded by Al Brown and Steve Logan in 1996. Soon after starting his internship, he enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand to pursue his culinary dreams. By the time Joshua graduated, he was already working full-time at Logan Brown moving quickly through all sections of his training and was promoted to Sous Chef in 2017. In 2018 he and was promoted to Head Chef at Bellamy's by Logan Brown in Wellington, a unique fine dining restaurant located on the third floor of the New Zealand parliament building with a menu that showcases top-quality New Zealand ingredients.
What was your experience like at Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand and what did you take away with you?
"One thing I learned from studying at Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand is that it teaches you a great foundation of skills, particularly the more classic culinary skills. Although you may not use these every day in the kitchen after you graduate, it teaches you how to be precise, how to present, and how to manage your time efficiently."
What advice would you give to students studying or looking to study at Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand?
"The advice I’d give to current and prospective students is to get yourself a part-time job within the industry whilst studying. Before studying at Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand, I called Logan Brown and asked if I could work there on a six-month unpaid internship – two months into this they offered me a job. I started from the bottom of the kitchen and began to work my way up. By the time I graduated, I was already working in the larder section of Logan Brown. I found that working and studying at the same time complement each other so well; I was able to pick things up a lot faster than anyone else in the classroom, and contrariwise, when it came to filleting my first fish at Logan Brown I’d already learned this technique from my studies at Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand. Working while studying also meant that as soon as I graduated, I had a full-time job lined up and did not have to start at the lowest level of a kitchen – something I think a few of the students struggle with once they have graduated - as it is easy to get a job, but very hard to get a higher position in a restaurant kitchen straight away if you have no experience."
Spinach ricotta gnocchi, beetroot, hazelnuts and rosemary lavoche.
Heirlooms, tomato bavarois, rewana parmesan crisp, horipito & basil.
Tell us about the opportunities you have had since starting at Logan Brown.
"A huge amount – I've had the chance to work in various positions, work at functions, travel the country, meet lots of inspiring people within the industry and work on collaborations with places such as the Cartwheel Creamery creating our own cheese."
Joshua cooking in the kitchen.
Tell us about your current role as Head Chef here at Bellamy's by Logan Brown.
"I love the creative aspect of my role; being able to design a whole menu, then changing it seasonally and getting to experiment with various ingredients. Another awesome part of my job is foraging for different ingredients, every second morning we go out and collect ingredients such as sea succulents, celeries and wild porcini mushrooms from different spots all over Wellington. Sometimes MPs bring foreign delegates to Bellamy's for lunch, so we try to incorporate a lot of native ingredients into our menu to showcase the top quality foods we have access to in New Zealand. We have a great team behind us who share the same values we were taught at Logan Brown, like producing high-quality dishes, exceptional customer service, the sustainability of the produce we use and giving a really good overall experience to our customers."
Tell me about the day-to-day sustainable practices Bellamys tries to implement.
"Sustainability is a big part of Bellamys and the wider Logan Brown name. We use free-range pork, wild venison, and line-caught fish – we do not use trawled as it is not good for the fish quality, nor is it good for sustainability. It’s about being respectful of the environment in which these top ingredients are coming from, and if a certain fish is being over-fished that season, we do not use it in our dishes. You don’t want to be a restaurant contributing to a certain species going extinct. This is an important ideal that Bellamys tries to uphold."
Tell me about your future plans for yourself and the business.
"First and foremost would be establishing Bellamys; getting operations consistent and building up a well-known, reputable restaurant. In the far future, it would be great to go and work overseas. Working in some of the top-50 restaurants in the world is a big dream of mine."
Find out more about Logan Brown
Find out more about Bellamy's by Logan Brown
Find out more about the Diplôme Avancé Culinaire Cuisine
Follow Joshua Ross @joshua._.ross