Head Chef 'Woody' mentors young chef Tom Hitchcock at Noosa Beach House.
Photo Geoff Potter / Noosa News
Head Chef 'Woody' mentors young chef Tom Hitchcock at Noosa Beach House. Photo Geoff Potter / Noosa News

Young chef shares two of his favourite recipes

TANNUM Sands man Tom Hitchcock spends a lot of time in the kitchen, but it's not in his family home or the Tannum Sands Hotel anymore.

Mr Hitchcock has worked at the Noosa Beach House for the last 12 months as a chef.

He's hoping to take his career to the next level soon, entering the 2016 St Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year competition

This week he's shared two recipes with us, an old classic that any home chef can pull off and something a little bit different.

The spaghetti bolognaise recipe is written by Mr Hitchcock.

>> 6 top cooking tips from chef Tom

"I make that once a fortnight at home or on special kids menus at work," Mr Hitchcock said.

The other, a beetroot curry, was written by his boss and head chef at Noosa Beach House, Peter Kuruvita.

"I like the beetroot curry because it's different. Not many people know how to cook with beetroot and this way really highlights its flavour," he said.

Spaghetti bolognaise:


  • 50ml Vegetable Oil
  • 500g Beef Mince
  • 1 Large Brown Onion
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 6 Sprigs Thyme
  • 8 Large Basil Leaves
  • Half Bunch Oregano
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 800gm Caned Diced Tomato
  • 200gm Tomato Paste
  • 500ml tomato juice
  • 1 Beef Stock cube
  • 2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Caster Sugar
  • 250g Spaghetti

Spaghetti Bolognaise (Serves 4)

  • Fine dice onion and garlic
  • Pick the herbs and ruff chop (keep rosemary, thyme separate from basil oregano)
  • Heat up veg oil in large saucepan on a med heat
  • Sauté onion and garlic for 5min or till transparent
  • Add rosemary and thyme and cook with onion and garlic for 3min
  • Break up beef mince with hand and add to saucepan
  • Cook and stir for 10 - 15min or till mince is cooked trough
  • Add bay leaves, beef stock cube, diced tomato, tomato juice and tomato paste to the bolognaise
  • Cover and simmer for 30 - 40 min
  • While waiting for bolognaise, bring a pot of water to the boil
  • Once boiled, season water and add spaghetti
  • Cook and stir occasionally for 15 - 20 min or until al dente'
  • Add basil, oregano, white vinegar, caster sugar
  • Simmer for another 5min
  • Season to taste and serve


Hints and Tips

  1. Traditionally bolognaise is made with half pork mince and have veal mince
  2. Dried herb are fine to use. 1 tbsp of each herbs or 4 tbsp of either Italian herb or mix herb
  3. When cooking the mince, use a whisk to stir. Helps breaks up the mince to make it nice and small.
  4. Hard herb, thyme and rosemary, need to be cooked longer to get the full flavour, other than soft herbs like basil and oregano.
  5. Instead of using can tomato, use fresh. They need to be diced and simmer for 2 hours, instead of 30- 40 min, before they break down into a sauce.

Beetroot curry:

Peter Kuruvita's recipe for beetroot curry.
Peter Kuruvita's recipe for beetroot curry.


350g Beetroots

50g Vegetable oil

1 Large Brown Onion

2 Cloves Garlic

1 Small Green Chilli

1 sprig Fresh Curry Leaves Picked

1 Cinnamon Stick

1 Teaspoon Grounded Coriander

1 Teaspoon Chilli Powder

3 Teaspoons White Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Caster Sugar

200ml Coconut Milk

Beetroot Curry (Serves 4)

  • Peel and trim beetroots
  • Dice beetroot into 2 cm cubes
  • Finley chop brown onion, garlic and green chilli
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan on a medium heat
  • Sauté onion and chilli for 6 mins or till onion is translucent
  • Add curry leaves and garlic and cook for another 3 mins
  • Add cinnamon, grounded coriander and chilli powder
  • Toast spices for 3min (don't worry if they start to stick to the bottom)
  • Add diced beetroot, white vinegar, caster sugar and coconut milk
  • Simmer over very low heat, stirring occasionally for 15 - 20 min or until the beetroot are soft
  • Season to taste


Hints and Tips

  1. To avoid the gritty feel of the spices, make sure you really toast them in the pan (till you can smell the spices and they start to stick), this activates the spices true flavour
  2. Instead of using vegetable oil use ghee (Ghee is traditional in sir lanker for all there curries)
  3. To get more body and texture in the curry try using coconut cream instead of coconut milk
  4. If not a fan of chilli don't put the chilli powder in
  5. Have all ingredients ready to put in the pot before starting to cook. (It only takes a few seconds to burn)
  6. Best served with basmati rice and roti bread

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