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Mixed spin on the menu for Country Club

By Daniel Hughes

The Finley Country Club is welcoming a new head chef to its kitchen.

Priuljith Unnikrishnan, affectionately known as Jithu, does tend to favour the Indian flavours of his home country, but describes his cooking as a mastery of multiple disciplines and cuisines.

“My parents lived in a town in Southern India where I first got my passion for cooking. I gained an understanding of herbs and spices,” Jithu said.

“Although I was born in India, I don’t see myself as an ‘Indian chef’.

“I have run kitchens in Oman, Dubai and Australia, so I have understand most food cultures and particularly enjoy Italian, Persian, Arabic and contemporary European.”

Jithu's extensive experience and drive to succeed in leading his own kitchen will be a perfect fit for the Country Club and its patrons, according to publican Rick Shaw.

“I was managing kitchens for international hotels, and our patrons came from all over the world,” Jithu said.

“Each hotel ran a number of restaurants within the facility to cater for the multicultural nature of our clientele.

“I worked in Newcastle when I first moved here, then got the opportunity to commence at Barooga Golf Club, where I became head chef.

“The Country Club in Finley has earned a good reputation for its food, service and accommodation so when a friend pointed out the position, it intrigued me.

“I have always wanted to stamp my mark on my own kitchen and after talking with Rick, the fit seemed appropriate.”

Jithu said he's happy to work in the Country Club's ethos of using local produce where possible.

“I think it's important to maintain the input for fresh local ingredients in your typical hotel cuisine. This provides the base of any good hotel kitchen.

“I am also really keen to give our patrons an experience of something new and varied, as well as the core menu.

“So expect to see new dishes appear from time to time like halim bademjan (pulled lamb and smoked egg plant) or my fresh made pasta and ravioli.

“I can’t wait to also cater for weddings, conferences and special functions, once we are allowed to.”