Silver Chef, Club Chef of the Year 2018 was awarded to RSL Services & Citizens Club Nambour Inc’s Matthew Smyth at a gala awards night in Brisbane hosting the best of the best in Queensland Community Clubs. Matthew, no stranger to recognition, has led his team into a new evolution of food across the Clubs three dining outlets.

Chef Matthew discusses his achievement.

‘Anyone that knows me well knows I am not a spotlight kind of guy!

Entering these kinds of industry awards can improve our Clubs profile amongst peers, and if we are successful, amongst our members and guests. It is always a humbling experience when you achieve a high ranking, but of course, despite it being named an individual category, it is anything but. The judging process and experience is a team effort. I’m proud of our team and their expertise, from front of house to our chefs and restaurant staff. ‘

The process to gain the award starts with nominations in November each year. Chefs must then be accepted to the next level by submitting two dishes that they have created in house from scratch. If they reach finalist status then these dishes must be incorporated into the Club’s menu for the 2 month judging process.

One of the dishes on Matthew’s menu, served in the Club’s signature restaurant Mosaic, was a mouth-watering ‘Braised Oxtail & Sage Fettucine’.

Matthew explains the inspiration behind the dish,’ Our club lies in the heart of the hinterland and is synonymous with traditional fare and country style cooking. We strive to deliver a combination of classic dishes, family friendly fare and more sophisticated dishes you would not expect in a regional RSL Club. I wanted to complement our customer’s tastes and preferences with a regional style dish using hand prepared fettuccini but also challenge them by enhancing the dishes delivery. By including the richer flavours of braised oxtail and tomato ragout and generously coating the pasta in a whipped bone marrow butter, the dish takes on a more European influence. Crusty baked ciabatta to soak up the juices brings them back home.’

Matt’s career has taken him all over the world with roles in St Regis Hotel Beijing China, Atlantis Sheraton Zurich Switzerland, Le Meridian Resort Spa and Casino Vanuatu, as well as appointments across many luxury hotels and Clubs in Australia including the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Four Points by Sheraton Port Macquarie, Compass Group, Novotel Lake Crackenback Resort and more locally Sheraton Noosa Resort and Spa.

With this extensive experience it can be surprising to see him taking on a more regional role. He explains,’The Club has been in the community for over 60 years so it feels more community oriented. I have a growing family and the stability combined with the challenge suits us. I think Nambour RSL Club is also exceptional at championing the growth of its staff. I can enjoy a role in what is deemed a regional town but also travel with the business and keep up to speed with the fast pace of the food industry, attending events and doing site tours. All this adds up to fulfilment at work.’

 Nambour RSL Club, a jewel in the heart of the hinterland, is a leading Queensland Community Club. It offers its now over 22,000 members free entertainment, luxury lounge facilities, sports bar, children’s and youth rooms, a state of the art functions and events facility and several dining options. Food is a major part of the member offer and, with a diverse membership base, striking the balance to deliver the value expected by members but to also keep up with modern food trends is no easy task.

Suzanne Long, General Manager is exceptionally proud of Matthew and his team.

‘Our food business has seen a significant improvement with Matt leading. He has taken on the challenge of delivering a constantly changing menu across three food outlets in the Club and lifted the standard to be a benchmark in Queensland.’

Nambour RSL Club is open 7 days from 10am with free parking. For updates on menu launches, entertainment and events visit, like the facebook page or phone 5441 2366.

Matthew Smyth
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