Aspire Lifestyles – 5 Minutes with Chef Darren Templeman

A seat in the O Bar & Dining restaurant is a place at the heart of O. While stunning panoramas unfold outside, Michael Moore’s unexpected journey of contemporary dining brings an adventure right to your table. Michael’s international pedigree and passion for produce, combined with Chef Darren Templeman’s “farm to table” philosophy and light, fresh cooking style presents itself in Sydney as one of the finest dining establishments. And it doesn’t hurt that their contemporary spin on healthy eating happens to come with a stunning side order of sky-high, 360-degree eye candy. Here, Chef Darren shares with Aspire Lifestyles his thoughts and humour on being a chef and a gourmand.

Aspire Lifestyles: What is your food philosophy?

Chef Darren: My food philosophy is “healthy with a twist” the twist being I can’t believe this is healthy and delicious!

Aspire Lifestyles: And how or where do you draw your inspiration?

Chef Darren: I draw my inspiration from very few chefs as I try to forge my own path, but there are two chefs who I admire greatly, Michael Moore and Bruno Loubet, both have been instrumental to help define my cooking personality.

Aspire Lifestyles: What are your favourite flavours for this year?

Chef Darren: I have fallen in love with the depth of flavour that fermentation gives food, on top of my list right now is yuzu kosu, a fermented paste made from yuzu peel, chilli and salt.

Aspire Lifestyles: Have you always wanted to be a Chef?

Chef Darren: It wasn’t my first choice when I left school at 15, but it was something that struck me as very interesting and accessible and once I started I was very quickly addicted!

Aspire Lifestyles: What is your ‘Go to’ hidden gem dining experience?

Chef Darren: With social media being the way it is these days, there aren’t very many hidden gems left! But I do have two places I visit often, Ryo’s Noodles, North Sydney, for Ramen and Automata, Chippendale, for a more sophisticated night out.

Aspire Lifestyles: What is the most unique food pairing you have experienced?

Chef Darren: It has to be the duck webs in mustard sauce at Flavours of Peking, totally wasn’t what I was expecting.

Aspire Lifestyles: Do you have a nickname in the kitchen?

Chef Darren: I’m sure I have many, but none that I really hear!

Aspire Lifestyles: If you were to invite some Chefs to a dinner party, who would you choose?

Chef Darren: I would like to invite all the old kitchen crew I used to work with back in London (in the 90’s) it would be good to swap stories and see how our lives have changed over the years, having all been on the same platform.

Aspire Lifestyles: Who does the cooking at home?

Chef Darren: I love to cook for my kids when I get the chance, they have a great perception of food and love to watch and cook new things.

Aspire Lifestyles: What is your favourite dish?

Chef Darren: Far too many to list, but my Mums sherry trifle has to be up there.

As a partner on the Aspire Lifestyles Global Preferred Restaurant Program, enjoy top of waitlist, premium table seating and a complimentary 2011 Sangiovese Rosé on arrival with dinner or Chef’s tapas plate at the bar with every reservation.