When you meet Matt Moran, the first thing he’ll do is show you his vegetable garden. “Autumn has been amazing,” he says, gesturing at rows of kale, broccolini and purple cabbage through the greenhouse windows of his Woollahra restaurant, Chiswick.
Away from TV screens and recipe books and magazine spreads, his grin – when enthusing about vegetables – is much like a boy who’s woken up to an extra-large delivery from Santa on Christmas Day. “I get very passionate about my garden. Sure, lots of chefs tell you that they’re seasonally driven and critics say that it’s always the same story but of course it f**king is! We’re chefs!”
So how did this ordinary bloke from Tamworth build a culinary empire of books, TV shows and multiple restaurants? Here are his three tips for doing so yourself.
1. Surround yourself with the right people
“I’m lucky – I’ve got some great people around me. I’ve got a fantastic partner in life – Sarah’s got her own career and she’s very successful. I’m very lucky in that respect. Also, my business partner [Bruce Solomon] is a great man, mentor and friend.”
2. Define success on your own terms
“I think my biggest achievement in life is that I’m happy. I think if you’re happy and content, what more do you want? The fame, the money – that doesn’t matter.”
3. Allow your mission to evolve as you do
“I think the older I get, the more I want to give back. [Now] that we’re a big company we can offer people career progression. I also care more about food waste, the environment and how farmers are treated and looked after.”