20 Jan Gourmet Bangkok : Freebird
Who’s Chef Dallas?
When I asked Chef Dallas how he experimented and designed his dishes, he casually replied that he ‘imagined the taste and visualized the dish in his mind’. Most of the time, no process of trials and errors was required. Stunned. At that moment, I thought ‘Wow! You are not just talented! You are a genius, who was born to be a chef!’ What I thought proved to be very true. Once you know how fast Chef Dallas has risen from an apprentice to a chef partner of an international hospital group, you will understand why I call him a genius.
Biography of Chef Dallas
Dallas Cuddy’s culinary career began at the age of 17 when he was drawn to the high energy and atmosphere of the kitchen. During culinary school, Dallas participated in many cooking contests, winning best apprentice in his region multiple times and placing 10th in ‘Australia Apprentice of the Year’ awards. By this stage in his career, Dallas moved to Melbourne, where he landed a job with Chef David Braim at Half Moon Brighton. David was an early mentor who was also writing a weekly food column in The Age newspaper. During this time Dallas would contribute dishes for David to use in his articles.
Feeling the need to expand and challenge himself, Chef Dallas then worked at The Point Restaurant (2 Chef Hats The Age Good Food Guide) under the highly decorated British Chef Ian Curly; Dallas completed his apprenticeship, then was promoted to the position of Sous Chef there in only 18 months. Such accomplishment led to his appointment as the Head Chef of the newly opened Beaumaris Pavilion, during which the restaurant was awarded one Chef’s Hat in its first year under his leadership.
In 2002, Dallas moved to London for two years to gain valuable experience at Michelin-starred restaurants. During his time in London, he worked for 18 months at the one-Michelin-starred restaurant, Nobu Park Lane as the Senior Chef de Partie and later Jnr Sous Chef. The time spent at Nobu changed the way that he approached food. Before returning back to Melbourne, he spent his last 6 months in London as a “stagiaire”, working at the two-Michelin-starred Pied a Terre.
Dallas then joined a 1-Hat restaurant Verge in January of 2004 as the Sous Chef and in late November 2004, Dallas was appointed the Head Chef. Dallas became a partner of Verge in 2007 when he also won the ‘Young Chef of the Year’ Award in the Age Good Food Guide and two Chef Hats. In 2010, with his business partners at Verge, a traditional Japanese eating-house Izakaya Den was opened and soon awarded the ‘Best New Restaurant’ in Melbourne.
Moving to Singapore in 2012 to work at The Prime Society, Dallas has advanced his role from the Executive Chef to the Director of Food and Beverage at the Society Group. This role allowed Dallas to further his career by managing all aspects of the business for moving the company forward. In the last two years, he has been nominated for ‘Chef of the Year’ twice and received numerous guest chef opportunities, with the highlight working for the W Hotel in the Maldives and Bali.
In late 2015 Dallas left Singapore and became the Chef Partner of Freebird in Bangkok. Freebird is a restaurant owned by Skin+Bones Hospitality Group, at which Dallas has become the partner and is currently the Group Executive of Asia for all outlets that are owned and operated by the Group. Skin+Bones owns and operates four outlets in Singapore and four in Malaysia, with a newly signed agreement to design and operate a restaurant in Beijing scheduled to open in late 2016.