Mike Eggert grew up with a mother who was a florist and natural scientist; she taught him “everything about plants and to respect living things”. He credits her for his love of nature and the environment and passion for growing and collecting food. His knowledge of local wild food saw him taking Rene Redzepi of Noma on a foraging trip around Sydney during the world’s #1 chef’s 2010 Australia visit.
After school he achieved a Bachelor of Environmental Science and a Masters degree in Wildlife Health and Population Management before finding his way into commercial kitchens.
He trained with Daniel Puskas and James Parry at Oscillate Wildly then had a short stint at Sepia with Martin Benn. After that he spent two years at Billy Kwong before working at Duke Bistro.
From late 2012 he worked at Buzo, until he took over the site, converting it into Pinbone a year later. Pinbone, a partnership with chef Jemma Whiteman, began as a pop-up venture prior to finding a permanent home on the old Buzo site, and was involved in various projects from market stalls, pop up dinners and PR events to private catering.
When Pinbone closed, the two went back to their successful pop-up formula, with a stint at Good Luck Pinbone in Kensington, cooking the Chinese food they loved at Billy Kwong, before moving on to New York-style Italian with Mr Liquor’s Dirty Italian Disco at Merivale’s Tennyson Hotel in Mascot.
The Merivale alliance proved to be a good one for Mike, who is now head chef of Totti’s at The Royal in Bondi.
Regardless of the location, Mike’s focus is always is on great produce, creativity, originality and fun.
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