Five minutes with BLACK by Ezard Executive Chef, Dany Karam
After beginning his international culinary journey in his home country of Lebanon, Dany Karam moved to France where he honed his skills and further expanded his understanding and approach to modern cuisine. Australia was next on the list where he settled in 2009 to join The Star.
Since then, he has been a strong and innovative force across The Star’s many dining offerings, bringing his fresh approach of combining cultures and cuisines including French, modern Australian and most recently from great American grills and contemporary Europe.
Q: How long have you been a chef and why did you decide to pursue this career?
A: I began my career as a chef when I was 16 years old. As a young boy I can remember watching my father handpicking fresh fruit and vegetables, and my mother creating dishes based on seasonal produce available on our land. My passion for cooking is derived from my heritage and love of food.
Q: Can you explain your food philosophy?
A: Travelling to different countries has broadened my mind to different cuisines. I have always shown a deep respect for the traditional fundamentals of French cooking. Since arriving in Australia, I have been amazed at the exceptional quality and variety of produce available. This has allowed me to add a modern twist tothe classicdishes I have always enjoyed creating. I love experimenting with new cooking methods, to discover new flavours and dishes.
Q: If you weren’t a Chef, what would you be?
A: As a child I always aspired to be a basketball player. Unfortunately, I wasn't tall enough!
Q: What is your favourite ingredient?
A: My favourite ingredient to work with is ginger. It has a vibrant, spicy flavour and can be showcased in a range of sweet and savoury dishes.
Q: What do you like to eat at home when nobody’s looking?
A: Homemade chocolate crepes with banana and fresh berries.
Q: What is the ‘can’t miss’ foodie event in your calendar each year?
A: My favourite time of the year is the start of Truffle season - commencing in July. The journey begins by unearthing the truffles, creating menu and serve it to our guests
Q: If you could invite any Chef for dinner, who would it be and why?
A: My first job was working as a Commis chef in “La Centrale” Beirut under Stephane Loison. He was tough, unforgiving and taught me valuable skills, both in the kitchen and out. He is an exceptional chef and I would be honoured to cook for him after all these years.
Q: Sweet or savoury?
A: Honestly, I love cooking with both as it is all about balance between the two.
Q: Which era would you like to recreate with your culinary talent and why?
A: I think it would be great to be able to revisit old Middle Eastern cuisine.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you could give to aspiring chefs?
A: Seek perfection. Focus on the basic skills and master them. Maintain a positive attitude and take every opportunity that you are given.
Within The Star entertainment venue in Pyrmont, Sydney, BLACK by Ezard’s luxe dining room makes the most of stunning views of the harbour and city. The restaurant's seasonal menu changes regularly and includes ‘fun combinations’ to suit all tastes.
Citibank customers can enjoy a free bottle of award-winning wine, every time they dine and pay with their Citibank card at BLACK by Ezard.
To learn more about Black by Ezard and book, click here