What Brisbane's top chefs and restaurateurs eat to beat stress | The Gourmand & Gourmet

What Brisbane's top chefs and restaurateurs eat to beat stress

The hospitality industry has been hit—hard.

In times of stress and hardship, everyone has a comfort food they turn to. Whether it’s Mum’s chocolate cake, a simple roast chook or an indulgent takeaway, stress-eating is a universal comfort that perfectly treads the line between sustenance and support of the emotional sort.

We asked some of Brisbane’s top chefs and restaurateurs what comfort foods they’re turning to at the moment—what’s yours?

Adam Wolfers – head chef (pictured) | Gerard’s Bistro, Gerard’s Bar

I always go for a home-made matzo ball soup with added schmaltz (chicken fat). We call it Jewish penicillin for a good reason as it heals the mind, body, and soul.

Simon Gloftis – owner | Hellenika, SK Steak and Oyster

For me, it’s the famous Greek soup avgolemono. It’s been my go-to since I was a kid, and I don’t think it’ll ever change—I just love it! Let’s just say I’m eating a lot of it at the moment…

Andy Ashby – director and head chef | C’est Bon Restaurant and Le Bon Bar

Well, in the current situation that our family of the hospitality industry is in, my comfort food to fill the belly (and mind) is poké bowls—fresh, filling, healthy and delicious. As a new owner in the industry, my main focus is to keep my staff on board and come back stronger so we can showcase our beautiful heritage venue!

Susie Yang – owner | Pie Town

I’m a sucker for a delicious pork crackling banh mi from Cafe O Mai or a plate full of steamed dumplings when I’m in crisis mode!

Nick Stapleton – head chef | The Balfour Kitchen

I am a huge sucker for anything rice. If I need a fix of other chefs’ cooking, I am lured toward pulled pork fried rice from West End Coffee House, grilled pork chop on broken rice from Quan Thanh, or salt and pepper pork ribs with rice and Szechwan chicken from Kings Food. Really, the love of rice is not the biggest comfort. It’s these places and their people who create fond memories, and they also help relieve the stresses that life throws our way.

Yianni and Michael Passaris – owners | Morning After, Yolk

Yianni: In times of stress I love getting into the kitchen and making a big bowl of pasta (in fact, 500 grams for 2 people and a bottle of wine does the trick!). 

Michael: In times of stress I get what is served by my wife!


As far as we’re concerned, self-isolation is the best excuse there’s ever been to chow down on comfort food.

Words by Georgia Condon
- the gourmet who always blurs the line between stress eating and just... eating.