Chef Talk – Seriously Inspiring Source Dining’s Quinn Spencer

August 18, 2019

Chef Talk 👨‍🍳

A chat with the Seriously Inspiring Source Dining’s Quinn Spencer on sous vide cooking

Source Dining is the beautiful heritage listed building on Piper Street, Kyneton that used to house Annie Smithers Bistro. Tim and Michelle Foster took over the restaurant in 2013 and have maintained the restaurants One Hat rating. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Quinn Spencer (bottom left image), the head chef of Source dining to talk all things food, but mostly sous vide.


ABOUT Source dining

At Source Dining the source or origin is where it all begins. Our desire to be hospitable is what shapes our service philosophy. This desire, coupled with passion, knowledge and the experience gained from a lifetime in the hospitality industry combine to create the dining experience we offer today.

When creating menus each season, it all starts with the produce we are able to source around us and from our garden. The source of all products is so important

At Source Dining we are passionate about providing you with a truly unique dining experience. Our menus seek inspiration from the produce we can source through our local suppliers and in our gardens – it evolves constantly with the change of seasons.

So Quinn, what are your cooking roots?

I started in French bistro cooking then moved to Tommy Collins, the high-end office catering business. Tommy Collins was purchased by the Atlantic group in 2016. I was commuting from Woodend into the city putting in long days with ‘Tommy Collins’ so when the opportunity to work in Kyneton at the heritage listed, One hatted Source Dining with Tim came up, I couldn’t resist. That was November last year. I have a bit of land and grow quite a range of vegetables that we use at the restaurant alongside what Tim produces from his small farm.

You have been cooking sous vide for years, where did it all start?

When I started at Tommy Collin’s. The chef’s running Tommy Collins where two chefs from Vue de Monde and one from the Point. Sous vide cooking was second nature to them, and it suited the environments that we had to deliver in. Tommy Collin’s specialty was office catering onsite, we would take 2 circulators, one for the chicken and one for the beef and the sauce guns tucked into the water bath as well. We could plate for 300 with very little equipment using well prepared sous vide, maybe a pre-seared steak with a little smoked olive oil in the bag. Often much of the work was in city buildings, you would show up to do a sit down for 30 people and the kitchen turned out to be a tearoom with smoke detectors and no exhaust, you just had to adapt and sous vide suited all applications. Sous vide was a great resource.

How do you use sous vide here at Source Dining?

Sous Vide fits in to my cooking style, so everything from slow cooked lamb shoulder to smoked duck breast and a lot off the smaller service items are cooked this way. The Kitchen is heritage listed so we can’t change a lot, this means that bench top items like the sous vide really come in to play. Source dining has maintained ‘The Age Good Food Guide’ One Chefs hat rating since Annie Smithers owned the property, the level of dining is warm but sophisticated, we use the tools that we need to maintain a standard.

We have a lamb dish on the menu at the moment that has a 56C sous vide lamb rump, and a croquette of slow braised sous vide lamb shoulder and a chive Espume, which is made in a cream gun with sous vide egg yolk and chive oil held warm in a sous vide water bath. Served with chick pea puree and fromage frais.

You can check out the recipe HERE