Micheal Yeowart or Mikey, the founder Luvarlee.
Mikey has always been passionate about food and cooking. He began his Chef journey at the River House on the Noosa River at 15 years of age. Mikey has been travelling and working in restaurants all over Australia and around the world as a chef and restaurant consultant. He has worked in many countries and immersed himself in different cultures to learn new ways of cooking.
Growing up in Noosa, Queensland meant that Mikey always had access to fresh, local, seasonal and organic produce. It is something he believes is a key ingredient when cooking the best quality and best tasting food.
Mikey absolutely loves to cook and create. It is his passion to provide healthy, yet tasty food for his family and friends and since creating Luvarlee he can now share this passion with everyone!
Q: It can be addictive, this love for food - how did it all start for you?
A: My mum is the most talented cook I know! She’s always had a great understanding of flavours. She would always shop at local farmers markets and cook with fresh produce, so I grew up surrounded by incredible food. When I moved out of home at the age of 15, I needed a job. I got a job working in a kitchen at a restaurant down the road as a dishwasher. It was my perfect job because I was still able to go surfing every morning.
After a week of working there, they offered me an apprenticeship. I remember calling my dad and asking him what he thought, and he said “this is a ticket around the world, you could work at the best surf resort one day”, and that was enough for me, I was sold! Over time cooking became more than just a job for me, it became a real love in my life. As a young chef I would skate down to the Noosa Farmers market, I would walk around and buy random things I had never cooked with to take home and experiment. Now 15 years on, I find myself as one of the passionate market stall holders, where I sell my organic range of meals.
Q: We know travelling and camping with the little tykes isn't always easy - any hot tips?
A: Something I learned the hard way is that spontaneous camping trips with two young kids isn’t usually the best idea! I’d recommend planning well in advance and be super prepared. Have a checklist, pack lots of toys and snacks and don’t forget the torches!
Q: Funniest camping fail?
A: I recently took off on a spontaneous camping trip with my wife and kids to Double Island Point, a favourite spot of ours. My son Arlee is 4 and daughter Mala is 16 months. I sacrificed taking a table to take Mala’s mattress from her cot to sleep on in the tent. We pulled up and one camp stop and decided “yep this is the spot!” so we started unpacking and setting up. We soon had a change of heart and decided we’d find a better campsite for the night. So we quickly packed up and jumped back in the car to search for another spot. Once we’d finally decided on the perfect spot, we started setting up but we couldn’t find Mala’s mattress anywhere! We jumped back in the car and went to the original campsite but the mattress wasn’t there either. We drove up and down the beach looking for it… After about 45 minutes of searching we gave up. We somehow lost Mala’s mattress, which isn’t small! It was nowhere to be seen. I should have packed the table instead of the mattress because we ended up eating on the floor (in the dark, because I also forgot the torches) and Mala kicked sand all through our dinner.
Q: When you're not on the pans, what are you getting up to?
A: I’m never sitting still, that's for sure. My absolute favourite thing to do is surf. I would surf every single day if I could. I’ve spent time out at the Mentawai Islands as a surf guide, living in and out of Bali. That was a dream come true for me. Ever since I was a little tacker I’ve been a massive fishing frother. Wherever I go, my rods come too. You never know when the fish might be on! Snowboarding is another big love of mine. Some of my favourite memories are from my time travelling the US and Canada, snowboarding at epic mountains like Big White and Whistler, and surfing San Clemente, Lower Trestles. I’ve also done five seasons at Mt. Hotham as a snowboard instructor and chef, which is where I met my beautiful partner Eliza. We now have two little groms of our own, who are also big frothers of adventure and the great outdoors.
Bait: Gar fish
Rod & Reel combo: Pen slammer 2
Best fish species: 18kg Spanish Mackerel
Cooking tips: Mackerel is the best fresh, cook the fish in a hot pan with salt and pepper, a bit of lemon, can’t beat it!
Recipe of Fish caught and cooked over fire
Good fresh reef fish
Cover the outside of the fish with green curry paste (bought or made fresh)
Wrap the fish in baking paper and foil
Put in the hot coals for about 30 minutes depending on the size
It will cook in it’s own juice
Once cooked, put a little bit of coconut milk on top
Garnish with coriander, thai basil, kaffir lime leaf, cherry tomatoes, crispy onions
Serve with rice and veg