FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Chef Michael Hughes from the Brass Bell restaurant whips up a yummy prawn dish.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Chef Michael Hughes from the Brass Bell restaurant whips up a yummy prawn dish. Mike Richards GLA220217FOOD

Young chef feeds back to the community

A YOUNG chef has helped Brass Bell Restaurant adapt to Gladstone's economic climate with a cheap three-course meal - and business has been going "pretty good".

The menu began in April this year, and changes every month to give as many people in the community as possible a chance to enjoy a nice meal in a nice restaurant.

Head chef Michael Hughes said he is satisfied doing what he loves while giving back to the Gladstone community.

"For me personally, the structure for the $40 meal is a good thing... Gladstone is my home town, I was born here, and I understand that people are struggling," he said.

"To be honest, not many people leave here hungry.

"If they can come out and have a three-course meal and walk away satisfied, I'm happy."

Mr Hughes personally comes out to speak to his customers at the end of the night for feedback on his meals.

"I find that is a huge thing for myself to get first class feedback straight from a guest," he said.

He said less people are spending money on eating out, and that fellow chefs in places such as the Gold Coast are finding it hard to keep customers coming through their doors.

"It's not just Central Queensland or Gladstone, it's all the way down the coast," Mr Hughes said.

And while he takes a lot of pride in his food, there is an element of goodwill that comes with it too.

"I'm not a Michelin start chef, but I put everything that I have into what I do," he said.

"I feel like I'm helping people at the same time while I'm doing what I love as well."

His top pick on this month's menu is gnocchi with chicken triple thick bacon baby spinach served in white wine and truffle cream sauce.

"I will admit it's probably one of the best meals I've ever made," he said.



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