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Meet the chef: John Offenhauser, Customs House Heritage


One of the most awarded venues in Brisbane, Customs House Heritage surrounds offers a choice of indoor or outdoor dining overlooking the Brisbane river and the Story Bridge. Indulge in fresh seasonal produce and local seafood that is sourced daily by the kitchen team led by Chef John Offenhauser. SpiceNews caught up with Chef  Offenhauser to find out more about his passion for the kitchen.

1.) What made you decide to pursue a career in the food and beverage industry?

It was for the love of food! I explored plumbing, but unblocking toilets deterred me and I admired a Chef I met one time while Is with my family.

2.) What do you think will be the number one food trends this year? 

Fresh and seasonal menus sourcing local ingredients. We are also noticing that family style share banquets are popular in the event sector as well.

3.) Do you utilise sustainable or seasonal produce when creating your menus? 

That is certainly a huge part of my ethos. Customs House now has its own mushroom farm growing in the cellar, which has ideal conditions for such a crop. Our own produce features on the menu providing the mushrooms for the handmade nicola potato and ricotta gnocchi dish. I have relationships will a variety of growers as we are blessed having the Lockyer Valley near Brisbane which provides some brilliant produce that is shipped all over Australia.

What is your favourite dish to create and why? 

A simple but delicious pasta dish handed down to me from my Nona. It brings back wonderful childhood memories. At work, it would be cooking with new ingredients from our suppliers.

Tell us a little bit about the team you work with.

Passionate, big personalities, hard workers but we can all have a laugh after service.

What excites you most about this industry? 

I try to focus on creating memories for our customers through my food.  Our restaurant and function center are often booked for special occasions, so we want them to be as memorable as possible.


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