Meet Chef Simone Watts, aka the designer of the beautiful 'Chef Shirt Simone'

Meet Chef Simone Watts, aka the designer of the beautiful 'Chef Shirt Simone'

Simone is the invincible chef striving to find the most sustainable and delectable produce to serve to her guests.
Simone has just stepped away from working as Head Chef at the Daintree Eco Lodge in Queensland, and moves onto new ventures down south in Victoria this month.
We had a quick chat with Simone last week to find out what makes her tick. We laughed when we heard what motivated her to becoming a chef, I'm sure you will too.

Hello Simone and where are you today?
I'm home which is nestled in between the rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef - It’s strangely overcast here for August in the Tropics, but that doesn’t seem to stop the birds we share our home with from conducting a serious orchestra outside.

What are you up to for the rest of the day and why?
Preparing my menu for tonight, which began with a morning of foraging and harvesting from our home garden, followed by some brainstorming and research, then finally the physical preparation. Food is a universal language, so being a chef allows me to communicate my personal food philosophies through a creative

What prompted you to be a chef?
I met a chef when I was young who told me the most amazing stories of his adventures as a, food, wine, sex and hard passionate work - I was sold!

If you weren’t a chef, what else would you like to be doing?
I think I’d like to be a market gardener - it’s something I love doing but never have enough time for.

What’s your best sustainability tip?
Meat doesn’t have to be the hero of every dish. Reducing our meat intake is the most simple and effective way to reduce our carbon footprint.

What’s a great culinary book you would recommend ?
Dan Barber’s ‘Third Plate’ - An inspirationally informative look on how agriculture has changed over the last century and how we as an industry can help to reverse the damage.

Do you listen to Podcasts and which one would you recommend?
‘Down to earth’ is a series of positive discussions from people who are developing practical, innovative agricultural techniques.

What’s your music preference - Calm or Heavy Metal?
I’m a sucker for 50’s and 60’s rock & roll, so I guess that’s somewhere in the middle! The Beach boys, Elvis, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry.

What legacy would you like to leave?
I would hope that those I have come in contact with have a closer connection to agriculture and the environment, in turn allowing them to make their own educated mindful decisions around what they eat and buy each day.

What do you wish was never invented?
Palm oil on an industrial scale.

Of all the environmental issues which do you think is the easiest to solve at the moment?
I’m not sure there are any environmental issues that are ‘easy’ to solve these days, but I think the two areas where individuals can make the easiest and most effective change to our planet are: eating less meat and having fewer children.

We love that you have requested that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Shirt Simone be donated to CNCF (Carbon Neurtral Charitable Fund ) could you tell us why?
There are a lot of carbon offset organisations around who sequester carbon through mass (often non-native) mono-crops, however I admire the fact that CNCF take degraded, unused farmland and restore the natural habitat by planting a mix
of trees and shrubs that are indigenous to the area.

And lastly why do you choose to wear Cream Collection Chef attire? 
I spend almost my entire week in my chef whites so wanted to ensure they were made using ethically sourced materials. A co-worker told me about
Cream so I ordered one chef jacket to begin with just to try them out , then a few days later ordered 4 more and a stack of aprons! I can’t imagine wearing anything else now!

We love your work Simone, and thank you for your contribution and conscious attitude towards everything you encounter.

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