Thursday, May 11, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Meet The New Executive Chef At Paradiso

Whitsunday shores were calling Jesse Reynolds and his family who have just arrived in the region and are looking forward to being part of our lively local community.

In the job for just 10 days, Jesse says he is thrilled to take on the new position and that he is already impressed with the menu.

“One of the biggest selling points of this job was when I flew up here and had dinner on the first night,” said Jesse.

“Everything was en point – the food here doesn’t need to be touched and the restaurant has a great reputation – obviously that makes it more straightforward for me coming into the business.

“It also means that it is easy for me to tweak and refine – my style of food is more contemporary and upmarket – I am also looking forward to introducing more locally caught seafood like coral trout to the menu.”

Originally from Toowoomba, Jesse knew he wanted to be a chef when he was at primary school, after watching his uncle create incredible dishes – he was mesmerised.

As soon as he finished school at 16, he became an apprentice with Steven Simon, a well-known and very tough head chef who Jesse attributes to teaching him the work ethics he lives by to this day.

Upon completing his apprenticeship, Jesse’s talents were soon noticed, and he spent a few years in Brisbane and Stanthorpe, before becoming an Executive Head Chef for Accor in Gladstone.

More recently, Jesse was the Executive Head Chef at the Caloundra Events Centre, where his team would frequently serve over 4,000 meals per week.

He is now Executive Head Chef for Paradiso, La Marina, and La Marina Express in Airlie Beach.

Jesse has two children, a nine-year-old son called Harry and a 16-month-old called William.

In his spare time, he likes to meal-prep for his family, and he is also looking forward to taking Harry fishing when he gets settled into the job.

Secret to being a great chef?

Consistency. If you don’t give consistency people don’t feel safe to come in and trust what they are going to experience. Consistency is the most important part of the job for me!

Signature Dish:

Seared scallops with white truffe cauliflower puree, chorizo, and fried leek.

Jesse Reynolds, Executive Head Chef at Paradiso, La Marina and La Marina Express. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

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