Daydream Island Resort and Spa’s new Executive Chef Ashley Duff is cooking up some changes at the tropical Whitsundays getaway.
After spending almost a decade working on cruise ships around the world, Ashley brings a wealth of international experience to Daydream where he will be delivering a menu predominantly seafood-based complemented by tapas-style dining options.
“This perfectly suits our alfresco dining setting with the backdrop of the Whitsunday islands,” he said.
“I am incorporating more seafood into the menus and modernising them for the tropical climate we are in by steering away from gravies and jus and using more vinaigrettes.
“There is also more focus on locally produced food, from seafood such as Queensland scallops and tiger prawns, to fruit and veggies, beef, chicken and lamb. I’ll be working hard to source wonderful food from as close to Daydream as possible.”
Ashley kicked off his culinary career in Victoria where he cooked for Melbourne’s elite at various venues including five star hotels and at the exclusive Mornington Peninsula before moving to London to develop his skills.
For the past seven years he has worked with Royal Caribbean on numerous liners where he was responsible for catering for up to 3600 passengers, 24 hour a days, seven days a week.
Ashley is in charge of all food production on Daydream, from Splashes Pool Bar to signature restaurant Mermaid’s, and has already begun implementing some delicious new changes.
“In Fishbowl Tavern, we’ve introduced some of the best baby back ribs you can have. It’s a three day process to produce our ribs which are slowly caramelised on our char grill,” he said.
“In Mermaids, we will soon be introducing signature dishes like a Bouillabaisse-style seafood soup with lobster, mud crab and prawns, using some of the fantastic product we have in Queensland to really show off the restaurant.”
Mermaids a la carte restaurant offers a unique culinary experience where guests can feast on the freshest fish of the day caught straight from the sea to your plate.
Daydream also offers more relaxed dining options including the Fishbowl Tavern, Waterfalls Restaurant, Boat House Bakery, Lagoons Bar, Splashes and Gilligan’s Health Hut.