Singular simplicity — Cantilever Interiors

Quality and simplicity were the only items on the menu. “Unfortunately I rarely have time to cook at home,” Hugh concedes. “But if I did it would always be something super simple.” Let’s be clear: his take on simplicity is more sophisticated than most after a decade travelling and working at some of the world’s best restaurants, including formative years with mentor Rene Redzepi at legendary Noma: the Copenhagen original, Sydney and Mexican pop-ups, and reborn Noma 2.0. At Vue, Hugh’s endlessly Instagram-able dishes combine lesser-known or underrated native ingredients, exciting seafood, and fresh, local, seasonal abundance. “A big taking from working at Noma was cooking with a sense of time and place,” he says. “Meaning using the best ingredients from where you are, and using them in their peak.”

At Vue, Hugh’s well known for his deft touch, constructing striking dishes using a few exquisite ingredients, simple forms and stunning tableware of natural materials like timber and stone. That approach is evident in his home renovation too. He understands the power of simplicity to focus attention, gravitates towards natural textures and tones, and makes confident aesthetic choices. “I’ve always enjoyed photography and design – graphic design and interior design,” Hugh says. “There are no other careers I’ve ever thought seriously about doing. But occasionally I think about what else I might have done or been good at. I think maybe a furniture maker using stunning Aussie woods.”

Travis may not have recognised his famous client from his Masterchef appearances on their first meeting, but he noticed his design nous. “People choose the kitchen range they connect to,” Travis says. “Because of Hugh’s background, and I guess maybe his European experience and exposure, he’s obviously attracted to quality materials and quality detailing. He walked in and went straight to Tableau, and he never moved to the other kitchens. There was a confidence about his decision-making.”

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