Coming from a foodie family, James Egan spent most of his childhood in kitchens and familiarising himself with the day-to-day operations. With a mum for a chef, James’ appetite for cooking only continued to grow as he did which led him to commence a pastry apprenticeship at 15 years of age. Once qualified, he moved to high-end hotels where he completed commercial cooking qualifications to ensure a thorough understanding of his way around a kitchen. It didn’t take long before James solidified himself as a promising young chef with a silver medal in Australia’s largest cooking competition for chefs under 25, the ‘Nestle Golden Hats’ award. Prior to joining the team at Orpheus Island Lodge, James worked in a number of luxury resorts including Arajilla at Lord Howe Island, located off the coast of New South Wales.
James is inspired by local and seasonal ingredients which align with Orpheus’ philosophy to deliver delicious yet sustainably sourced meals in a superb tropical setting. As an avid fisher and diver, he is a qualified dive master with sound knowledge of the ocean and a supporter of sustainable fishing practices. He enjoys being able to utilise locally grown and sourced produce, including the seafood he catches on his days off, to create unique menus that change daily whilst being tailored to individual guest preferences.
From quintessential Aussie breakfasts, shared tapas-style lunches, and gourmet picnic hampers, to memorable degustation dinners, each meal is an indulgent event in itself and James takes pride in guests sampling dishes they wouldn’t normally order and changing their perceptions on ingredients.
“Sustainability is at the core of everything we do at Orpheus Island Lodge,” said Jennifer Penegar, General Manager. “We believe in indulgence with a conscience and aim to give our guests a truly mouth-watering dining experience without having a negative effect on the natural environment. James shares our ethos wholeheartedly and we enjoy working alongside such an inspiring chef.”