Seaside Simplicity with Chef Justin Fitzpatrick

Image source: Photographer Megan Gill

Justin Fitzpatrick


Head Chef

Spero Greek

How and why did you become a chef?

Being part of the Filipino community, they would always have large gatherings where each family would bring a dish – a pig on the spit, BBQ skewers, different rice and noodle dishes. These events would make me excited about food. 

When I was old enough to get a job, I worked at multiple restaurants as a kitchen hand and finally got my chance to hop on the line when someone called in sick. The rest has been my life.

What do you love about being a chef?

Being part of a team that can create amazing food for others on a daily basis. 

To see the look on people’s faces as they enjoy a meal you made is totally worth the hard work and hours that have gone into the dish.

What do you love about local produce? 

Our restaurant knows multiple trawlers that pop in with fresh produce all the time and allow us to pick from their spoils, which is always exciting, because you never know what will land in the kitchen.

Who are your favourite local suppliers?

Walker Seafoods, Mountaintop Mushrooms and Fraser Isle Spanner Crab.

What is your approach to food?

I’ve always been inspired by past chefs and fresh produce to strive to always do something that will showcase the main component of the dish. 

I focus on bold colours and simplicity. 

Who would you love to cook for? 

My father. 

He passed away when I was in high school and I would have loved for him to see what I have done and who I have become.

Who is your culinary inspiration?

Marco Pierre White – an absolute legend in my eyes. 

“Food is about generosity, and this should be reflected on the plate as well.”

Do you cook at home?  

Sometimes I do. I enjoy comfort meals such as lasagne, Chicken Adobo and BBQ meats over charcoal. 

What is your favourite dish ?

I’m an absolute sucker for great fish and chips. Crisp and fluffy thick-cut chips and thick, flaky white fish encrusted with crunchy batter or crumb. 

Sometimes the simpler dishes are the most satisfying.

What do you love about this region?

I love the smell of the salt air, the fresh fruit and vegetables and the local seafood. The people are relaxed and keen for new things. I can see the Sunshine Coast being the next big thing on the food scene with amazing chefs and great local suppliers all over the region.

Any advice for young chefs?

Learn as much as you can as an apprentice starting off in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to ask all the questions and watch everything everyone does. In the kitchen, you learn more from seeing.

You can learn something new from anyone, even if the advice is don’t make the same mistake.

Speed and efficiency are key to survival. 

What is your favourite kitchen utensil?

My Santoku chef’s knife. If you treat your knife well, it will help you with your day. A shout out to timers too! Without timers in the kitchen, most dishes may be forgotten about in the heat of service.

What is your favourite ingredient? 

Any sort of seafood. But I have a love for octopus as it’s so unique in flavour and texture.

Post a Comment

Want more? Subscribe!

Get the latest news delivered fresh to your inbox!

Want to list your business?

Contact us to find out how! Contact us

SAVE THE DATE! 9 December, 9am-3pm @stevensstreetgallery for their Christmas Market!

Discover 20+ makers showcasing unique art, ceramics, jewellery, and more from the region`s finest artisans.

Shop local and creative this Christmas for the perfect gifts. Don`t miss free workshops and entertaining programs.

Every purchase supports local artists and boosts the creative community. A festive day trip awaits, filled with creative spirit!

Join @headspacemaroochydore for a powerful workshop - Work on Your Worries

Is anxiety holding you back? Let`s break free! If negative thoughts are on repeat or decision-making feels like a challenge, this workshop is your game-changer. Hosted by the amazing headspace GP, Dr. Amanda.

When: Monday, December 11th, 2-4pm
Where: YouConnect Hub (Warehouse) @ headspace Maroochydore

Ready to reframe those thoughts and conquer anxiety? Register now via the link in the bio or call 5409 4900 and kick those worries to the curb!

Get ready to time-travel through art history @caloundraregionalgallery ! From 8 December, 2023, to 21 January, 2024, join the ultimate print party curated by Kyoji Takizawa from the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts!

Dive into the wild world of ten artists who flipped the script on contemporary art using prints in the 1970s!

Thanks to the magic of the Japan Foundation, Sydney, and the Consulate-General of Japan, Brisbane, this show is an art extravaganza you won`t want to miss!

Time to rediscover prints and redefine your art journey! (link in bio)

Get ready for a festive double feature at @eumundimarkets !

Friday 8 December - Christmas Night Market from 4-8pm! Immerse yourself in the holiday magic with dazzling lights, festive treats, and a FREE climbing wall for the kiddos!

Then, on Saturday 9 December at 9am, join for a Saturday Market day like no other! Join the Christmas Card Workshop – a merry morning of creativity, crafts, and spreading holiday cheer!

Mark your calendars for a weekend of joy and jolly vibes!

Get ready to jingle all the way at the 59th Annual Peregian Beach Carols – the Coast`s OG carolling extravaganza on Wednesday 20 December.

This year, the dynamic trio of @peregianfamilyandfriends , @thevillageperegianbeach and @peregiansurfclub are teaming up to make your holiday season merry and bright in Peregian Park!

What`s on the festive menu?
- Live beats and carol classics by local bands, solo stars, and dynamic duos
- Foodie delights and artisan stalls to snag those last-minute Christmas goodies
- Kid-friendly fun, including face painting for the little elves
- A special sky-diving Santa soaring onto the beach (around 6pm, weather ready!)
- And hold onto your reindeer hats for a surprise grand finale at 8pm!

To unwrap all this awesomeness, just throw in a jolly $15 per family – covering EVERYTHING, from tunes to the main man himself, Santa!

Let`s make it a Peregian party to remember – see you there! (link in bio for tickets)

Sleigh bells are ringing! Have you booked your spot yet?

Join us @coolumbeer on Thursday, 7 December, as the @coolum_business_and_tourism community jingle and mingle to celebrate the merriest time of the year!

Let`s wrap up the year with a dash of holiday cheer and join your Coolum Business and Tourism community for an unforgettable evening, marking the official start of the silly season!

Secure your ticket now for a holly, jolly time by clicking the link in our bio!

Date: Thursday, 7 December, 2023
Time: 5:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: Coolum Beer Co. | Unit 1, 2 Junction Drive, Coolum Beach QLD 4573

Tickets: Members $35.00 | Non-Members $45.00