Michal Blank Head Chef at Goldfish Driven and ambitious, Polish-born Michal loves the adrenaline rush that comes withthe chaos and demands of a busy kitchen. Since accepting the role of setting up the food operations at Goldfish in 2012, Michal has established Goldfish at the Roche Estate complex in Pokolbin as a highly regarded dining venue, serving an exceptionally high standard of food and winning Best Small Bar award at the Restaurant and Catering Awards in 2013.
Michal's early passion for good food and cooking was very much influenced by his grandmother who was an inspirational cook throughout his childhood. Due to the Eastern European tradition of big family Sunday lunches, he has fond memories of picking fruit and vegetables and helping his grandmother in the kitchen.
Surprisingly, Michal's decision to become a chef came later in life. One night, while enrolled at University and working part time behind the bar at a wood fired pizza restaurant, Michal was asked to assist with food preparation in the kitchen. Despite his initial misgivings, Michal discovered that he loved the camaraderie and energy that came with the fast paced and busy kitchen.
Needless to say Michal deferred his studies and never worked outside a kitchen again. For the next few years, Michal was exposed to a wide variety of cooking techniques and culinary influences from all around the world while he worked alongside respected chefs such as Steven Lloyd from Pier 26 in Sydney’s Darling Harbour and Serge Dansereau at the iconic Bather’s Pavilion at Balmoral Beach.
In 2005 Michal joined one of Manly’s highend restaurants - Whitewater as a Sous Chef before leaving to gain valuable experience at the hugely successful Hugo’s Manly working with inspirational chef Massimo Mele.
Now 3 years after arriving in the Hunter and establishing the new culinary direction for Goldfish, Michal has designed menus that are predominately Italian and French influenced, with great pizzas and a blend of refined Mediterranean cuisine. The decor has a 1920's old New York theme - open
7 days a week and perfect for long lazy lunches or dinners. Food is available till closing. (which is late!).