2 minutes with Kylie Millar
Occupation: chef de partie
Lives: Melbourne, Victoria
Kylie has just arrived back in Melbourne after working a couple of seasons at Mugaritz in Spain. Previously she worked at Pei Modern and Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio and she has recently started in the kitchen at Attica.
How did you come to be at Mugaritz?
I first came to Mugaritz in 2014 for a month stage while on holidays. My boss at the time (Darren Purchese) suggested I go and check it out.... And I'm so grateful I did. After a month in Mugaritz I was captured and decided to apply to stage for a full season in 2015 - A year rotating through different stations and ending with R&D to help design & create the menu for the next season, 2016, which I will be staying on for, after accepting a CDP (chef de partie) position.
Tell us about a normal day for you in the kitchen at Muagritz?
A normal day during the season is quite hectic. Starting at 9am we enter the kitchen to start mise en place. There is a big importance placed on family meal at Mugaritz, so at 12:30 we have lunch before starting service which will finish around 4:30pm. A quick siesta follows before heading back to the kitchen for mise en place, 7:30pm dinner then service begins at 8pm which will run until 1:30/2am. Sleep 😊
What's your favourite dish to prep?
One of my favourite dishes to prep is called 'cuello pato lacado' -A lacked duck neck stuffed with herbs fresh from the garden dressed with a corn vinaigrette. The technique for making the neck is quite involved, starting from the cleaning, cooking and final preparation of the neck but the result is delicate and beautiful.
You worked with the R&D team in the winter while the restaurant was closed, is there any of your ideas that contributed towards a dish on the menu now?
During the winter months the restaurant is closed for research and development for the season following. I've been fortunate enough to be involved in the R&D. One of the dishes I have been working on is a dish involving chicken skins and burnt marshmallow- not a standard combination but really interesting particularly visually. One of my favourites so far.
What do you do on your days off?
Days off are usually centered around eating and exploring. I usually start with a coffee from the loaf or sakoma. San Sebastián is a hub for good food, so finding a bar for pintxos or a restaurant for a chuleta is easy. There are some great towns just a stone’s throw away from San Sebastian- Getaria, Bilbao and Saint Jean de Luis- well worth a day trip.
You can follow Kylie on Instagram @kyliemillar