Executive Chef & Reef House Cuisine
Introducing Ben Canham
Our executive chef Ben Canham, joined us this year at The Reef House. Ben is excited about his challenge to tantalise the taste buds of diners visiting Palm Cove. The Reef House Restaurant has a long-standing reputation with locals and tourists alike. He is passionate about food and enjoys sharing his love of all things culinary with his customers.
Ben is inspired by the scenery at the Reef House, with the beach within close vicinity, as well as tropical Far North Queensland produce and the opportunity to support local farmers and fishermen.
Ben's career spans 20 years and an impressive line-up of restaurants, including Villa Romana, the Salt House, Perotta's, the Waterbar & Grill, the Shangri-La, Hotel Cairns and Rydges Esplanade.
He is an award-winning chef, securing first and second place in the Best Restaurant in Queensland awards, as chosen by the Australian Culinary Federation.
"I believe in constant challenges, as well as redeveloping and reinventing myself on a daily basis," Ben said. "When you have good teamwork you have good results. I love the thrill of a good service and the compliments we receive. "I believe in a positive, can-do attitude, as well as being creative, efficient, hard-working and customer-focused."
The Reef House focuses on modern Australian cuisine with Asian and European influences. There is definitely a focus on fresh, local seafood, with beautiful views and a relaxed atmosphere.
Their signature dish is Sea Scallops with Twice Cooked Pork Belly, with other favorites including Cape Grim Rib Fillet, Cold & Hot Seafood Tasters, Atlantic Salmon, Confit Duck, Braised Beef Cheeks.
"We have a great view and great ambience combined with great service and great food," Ben said. "I am looking forward to making my mark on Far North Queensland."
In Season - In the Tropics
Beautiful juicy & fragrant Bowen Mangoes are plentiful this time of year in North Queensland.
Ben has created a delicious Chocolate Mango Pecan Tart to finish your evening meal in tropical style.
Wines to Compliment by Matia, Restaurant Manager
Wine and food pairing is a
balancing act, an art rather than an exact science. You want to balance flavors,
weight and intensity.
When matching with food we have
to take into consideration many factors. What is the protein, sauce and
what’s the garnish?
Pork Belly & Scallops
I suggest to match this with West
Cape Howe from WA, Mount Barker.
Cape Grim rib fillet, parsnip puree, asparagus, roast mushroom, Merlot jus & black garlic butter.
I suggest matching with, Sister's Run Old Testament Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, SA.
Rib Fillet is very rich and full
of flavor steak, with some fat content so we look for a red wine
with full body and tannins, which pair well with fat.
That’s because the astringency of the tannin cuts through the viscosity of the
fat. Sisters Run Cabernet will give
us some big tannins, and lovely earthy flavors. This will also compliment the mushroom and parsnip.
There is one tricky item on the plate which will slightly change the wine flavor, and it's the asparagus, which contains methyl mercaptan, this can give wine a vegetal character. Try it first with and then without!
Pork Belly & Scallops
Cape grim rib fillet
Soft Shell Crab
barramundi thai curry