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Kevin Balajadia – Head Chef

Allely Estate

Meet the Team : Kevin

Introducing the awesome Allely Estate team that work so hard to ensure your wedding or event is memorable and has timeless moments.  Let’s talk to Allely Estate’s Head Chef, Kevin, who is photographed with long standing Chef at Allely Estate, Jenny.

Q. With your extensive experience in conference & banqueting, public catering/event environments, and wedding catering, could you share a bit about your culinary journey and what fuels your passion for creating exceptional dishes?

I travelled across the border to work in some of Australia’s top 100 Restaurants to learn from some of industries best.

Then moved back to be closer to family during covid. Being a part of people’s special day is what fuels my passion for creating memorable dishes.

Q. How do you integrate your passion for first-class customer service into your role as Head Chef, and what steps do you take to build strong relationships with clients at Allely Estate?

I involve myself in the menu tasting and be as flexible as I can to cater for client’s specific needs, from dietaries to cultural.

Q. Are there specific trends or innovations that you find particularly exciting in the current culinary landscape?

Zero waste, I believe in using all parts of the product instead of it ending up in the bin.

Q. Can you share an example where your focus on customer service significantly enhanced the overall dining experience for clients?

Hollie and Shane wanted an Italian themed menu for their wedding.  We made everything to their needs and met with them during their client meeting at Allely Estate to make sure all their needs were met.  

More recently we had an Indian couple who had a specific taste requirement for their dishes.  I did extensive research and they left their tasting feeling absolutely stoked that we had nailed their expectations.  The food experience for their guests is a very important part of their culture and I want Allely Estate to be known as an expert at re-creating dishes that not only look good but bring the taste of culture through the palate leaving a lasting impression.

Q. Innovation is a key aspect of your role. How do you infuse creativity into the culinary offerings at Allely Estate, and what inspires your approach to creating memorable and unique menus for events?

I often go out to eat to see what’s in trend in today’s current market.  I also listen to how clients want a specific dish made that makes it unique and tailored for their special day.

Q. Can you share an example where this balance was particularly well-executed?

Cooking Sri Lankan food for one of the weddings which was a first for the team at Allely Estate even though we have been doing weddings here for over a decade.

Q. Given your entrepreneurial flair, how do you stay up to date with the latest market trends in the culinary world, and how do you incorporate these trends into the offerings at Allely Estate?

I have been fortunate enough, to be surrounded and mentored by some of Australian and New Zealand’s top chefs. Often eating at their establishments gives me inspiration for the dishes served at Allely Estate.

Q. As a culinary expert, do you have personal favourite dishes or cuisines that you love to incorporate into events at Allely Estate?

Modern European, and I also love to put a kiwi twist on some of the menu.

Q. Exceptional attention to detail is crucial in the culinary field. How do you ensure that every dish, from preparation to presentation, reflects the high standards set by Allely Estate?

We have had multiple people book with Allely Estate who have attended other weddings and they request the food that they had when booking their own event.

Q. Leading a culinary team requires inspiration. How do you inspire and motivate your team to consistently deliver high standards of culinary excellence at Allely Estate?

The kitchen at Allely Estate is always full of smiles and laughter – we make work fun and enjoyable.  This reflects on how the food looks when it gets served to the guests.  We want guests to be happy when eating our food.  It is common knowledge that certain foods are associated with increased serotonin in our brains. Serotonin, also known as the “happy hormone”.  Couple that with the love and fun that goes in to the making of the food and you have a great outcome.

We are also very proud kiwis and pride ourselves on setting a high standard leaving our kitchen that translates into a memorable experience through our food service, quality, and taste.

Q. What strategies do you employ to maintain a collaborative and creative atmosphere in the kitchen?

Changing the menu and hosting different events keeps the creative atmosphere in the kitchen.  The kitchen team come from different ethnic backgrounds, and often we come together to talk about how we can tailor dishes to be more culturally and topically creative if for a specific event.

Q. In your time at Allely Estate, are there specific culinary moments or dishes that stand out as particularly memorable or well-received by clients?

Every wedding leaves a mark on me, but Hollie and Shane’s stands out to me.  I got to be a part of their menu planning and made their day memorable for them.

Q. Weddings often involve a balance between traditional elements and modern preferences. How do you approach the challenge of balancing culinary traditions with innovative and contemporary tastes in wedding catering?

By sourcing specific meats like halal to ensure that we can keep with any client’s religious or cultural traditions.

Q. Can you share an example where this balance was particularly well-executed?

Cooking Sri Lankan food for one of the weddings which was a first for the team at Allely Estate even though we have been doing weddings here for over a decade.

Q. For couples planning their wedding catering, do you have any recommendations or tips for creating a memorable and delightful culinary experience?

Ask questions 😊 Afterall it is their special day and we bring their vision to life, creating lasting memories for all who attend.

Allely Estate
Allely Estate
Allely Estate

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