Air Dovey is a highly accomplished culinary leader in the Compass Group ESS sector who builds and delivers menus across their remote, resources and offshore locations. Air is also a founding member of the Compass Group APAC Culinary Council.
Tell us a little bit about your industry history
I have worked in various facilities for Compass from Education to Commercial and currently for the Offshore and Remote sector. I began my journey with Compass Group New Zealand and then moved to Australia in various positions as a Chef Manager and Site Manager before joining the ESS Food team in 2007 and now the Compass Group Australia Culinary Team in 2017. It has been over two decades since. I support businesses and sites with menus, recipes, concepts, theme days, and anything food related.
Where did your love of food come from?
I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. My love for food began at a young age when I would help my mum cook big family meals. I enjoy teaching Thai cooking as it gives back to my own culture.
“I am particularly passionate about sustainable and organic ingredients. I am zealous about trying to use everything with no waste and make a positive impact on our planet”
What has stuck with you as being key to becoming a great Chef?
All my experiences, from childhood to now, affect my cooking. I am always striving to learn and try different things. I am particularly passionate about sustainable and organic ingredients. I am zealous about trying to use everything with no waste and make a positive impact on our planet. I love to cook with local ingredients. I grow vegetables, herbs, and spices in my garden at home to give my guests and customers the ultimate experience.
Recommendations for favourite place to eat in Australia?
Coogee Common Restaurant, WA — In a southern suburb of Perth, sitting down eating my meal, I see the Chef walk back from the garden with freshly picked produce ready for the next order. This place is great! The flavour profile in the food is amazing and super fresh. (They even have their own beehives!!!). The venue is unique, warm, stylish and with a great history.
How do you relax and unwind?
Go to the beach, I live 5 minutes from it. Watch the sunset with a glass of wine and play chill music in the background.
What’s the secret to a great kitchen?
Great equipment + Passionate chefs + Fresh and good-quality ingredients.
What’s the one cooking implement/device you could not live without?
Mortar & pestle and a Food processor
What’s your favourite food?
Thai Food of course… Thai cuisine uses herbs and spices that not only give flavour, fragrance and colour but also offer health benefits, such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, chilli, and ginger.