He works with a team of 30 other chefs to oversee all seven of the kitchens at Hilton Adelaide, including Coal Cellar + Grill, which replaced The Brasserie late last year.
Fleming started his 20-year career at the hotel, training and working alongside renowned chefs Bryant and Liew. He then went on to work with other notable chefs Matt Moran, George Calombaris and Luke Nguyen.
“I previously worked under Simon Bryant during his time at Hilton Adelaide,” says Fleming. “His creativity and appreciation for working with the finest South Australian produce was inspiring.”
On his return to the hotel, Fleming has continued its “Seriously South Australian” trademark, an award-winning approach to cooking with local seasonal food initiated by Bryant in 2006.
Here, Fleming gives us a glimpse of what’s going on in the kitchen at Coal Cellar + Grill.
The kitchen culture at Coal Cellar + Grill is …
Modern, talented and focused, is how I would best describe my team of chefs. The vibe is always fun, fast and sometimes furious!
Who are you cooking for?
Clientele, 100 per cent. Being part of a hotel, our clientele ranges from corporate and leisure travellers to local diners. Finding the balance to attract all these markets can be challenging, but it’s also what makes our job so interesting. Our Express Lunch is an example of how we cater for city workers – it’s fast, good value for money and ideal for a meeting or a quick catch-up with a friend or colleague.
Describe the current menu.
The “Seriously South Australian” philosophy continues at Coal: cooking local produce in a simple, non-pretentious style. Our charcoal grill is our feature cooking style, so the menu revolves around meat and seafood.
What does it seek to achieve?
Hilton Adelaide has always been known for its food and beverage offerings: The Grange, The Brasserie and The Collins Bar. Coal Cellar + Grill seeks to continue this rich heritage as well as continuing to be an advocate and supporter of local produce and wines.
Who or what has had the greatest influence on your cooking?
Without a doubt, Simon Bryant and Cheong Liew were my mentors and inspiration. Having recently worked alongside both chefs again during Tasting Australia was not only personally fulfilling for me, but such a great experience for the younger chefs here.
What are the hero ingredients?
Meat … locally sourced South Australian meat!
What is your favourite dish?
The Great Tomahawk … certified Australian Angus Beef 1kg Tomahawk Steak, ideal for two people. It’s seasoned with a house-made spice mix of 27 spices – a secret recipe, of course – cooked to perfection on the charcoal grill and paired with baby winter vegetables, red wine jus and béarnaise sauce.
What is your favourite food and wine match?
Pork and Pinot, without a doubt.
What are you cooking at home?
When I am at home I cook whatever my wife would like me to cook!
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