Executive Chef of The European Group venues and owner of Kirk’s Wine Bar, Ian Curley must be one of the busiest Chef’s in Melbourne. With ten venues, 12 kitchens and multiple menus to oversee, his work is never done. He has even been known to be spotted polishing glasses in the bar if that’s where he is needed! He consults to Caulfield Racecourse and feeds the masses there to great acclaim.
Ian was born in Coventry, England in 1964. After studying and working in the UK for several years, he moved to Australia in 1988.
For the last six years, Ian has been Executive chef of the European and Melbourne Supper club. The busy, bustling European became busier, with extended opening hours, becoming a favourite for late night supper for fellow chefs and front of house in the industry. The Supper Club food continues to thrive in matching its opulent, graceful but relaxed surroundings and the beautiful rooftop Siglo was born, along with private function space in The Tearoom. The City wine shop is a favourite for the city professionals and passersby alike with an extensive wine list from Australia and Europe with simple food to compliment the venue. The latest addition to the “family” is the Spring Street Grocer serving traditional artisan Gelato, house-made take home meals, groceries, gourmet sandwich bar and also a cheese cave for importing and maturation of cheeses for the restaurants, and retail.
Ian’s food is generous and unpretentious, focusing on the quality of the produce, keeping it simple and fresh and taking advantage of the seasonality of produce to create lively and interesting dishes without giving into trends. Kirk’s Wine Bar follows in with his ethos on food, something beautiful to be enjoyed at any given time whether you have half an hour or half a day to spend.
Ian is well known and respected in the industry as being firm but fair. He is extremely willing to give time and knowledge to young chefs and his kitchens always house work experience enthusiasts. He loves the idea of feeding the industry and giving back to it.
Ian is well known within Australia through regular appearances on television. He has been a Guest Judge on Master Chef Australia as well as having his own TV show Conviction Kitchen which aired on Channel 7. He also does regular spots on Yes Chef, Post cards and other Food/travel programs. Ian is well regarded on the International chef circuit being involved in many gourmet food summits and demonstrations.
Not having quite enough to do, Ian volunteers himself with a variety of different charities. Ian’s main focus is with Youth Projects, helping establish a drop in centre for the mentally ill and homeless to give them medical care and support. Ian is also an ambassador for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. Ian also enjoys having his skills and time auctioned off to raise money for the Starlight foundation and other charities. He is also ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food in Australia.
Ian is an Ambassador for Golf Australia, which is a perfect fit as he has a tragic golf addiction to the point where he plans his work around his golf.
Ian lives in Melbourne with Simone and two beautiful daughters Cooper and Cassidy. In his very scarce spare time, Ian loves supporting his beloved Chelsea Football Club.