Tom Walton, The Bucket List head chef

At the table with: Tom Walton

Tom Walton is responsible for one of Bondi Beach’s most popular menus. As head chef at The Bucket List, Walton’s menu is centred around locally sourced produces that rings strong to his own interest in health and wellbeing. Before Walton joined The Bucket List, he trained alongside Damien Pignolet for six years at Bistro Moncur where he eventually became head chef. He also appeared regularly on the Network Ten television series, ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’.

Tom Walton, The Bucketlist head chef
Tom Walton, head chef of Bondi Beach’s The Bucket List

Who is your inspiration?
I am inspired by so many people in so many aspects of my life. I look for daily inspiration personally, creatively, professionally, and spiritually.

My fiancé and mother to my children inspires me daily with her love, nurture, and support, my friends, my peers and other professionals both inside and outside of the my industry that get up everyday with ambition, pursue their dreams and passions, work hard at their craft, in their lives and are bettering themselves and the lives of people around them.

Jamie Oliver is someone who comes to mind with what he has and is doing to better the lives of people through good simple food and the change in legislation that is needed to help and empower people to become healthier and bring it into reach of anyone.

What’s currently in your pantry?
A well stocked pantry makes cooking quick and easy: tahini, olive oil, vinegars, za’atar, pomegranate molasses, chilli sauce, tamari, chickpeas, besan flour, quinoa, buckwheat, passata, nuts and seeds

What’s in your fridge?
Yogurt – my addiction, fruit and veg from the farmers market and our veggie garden, preserved lemons, organic milk, lots of filtered water, anchovies, babaganoush, and cheeses.

Best thing to come out of the microwave
We don’t have a microwave, but my mum used to make an amazing microwaved jam pudding when I was a kid.

What did you last eat?
A spinach, avocado, hummus, buckwheat, and almond salad

Where do you like to go out to eat?
I love hitting Bondi’s great cafes after a session in the ocean.

When I’m not cooking, I’m…
With my beautiful family, outdoors in the water, on the sand, training – I am a health and fitness nut – and in my vegetable garden at home in the Blue Mountains.

Butter, margarine, a mix or neither?
Good quality butter from happy cows.

Kitchen tools I can’t live without
My knives, of course, mandolin, and microplane. I love the mandolin to shave veggies for beautiful raw salads. A microplane is a great tool for adding subtle flavours and aesthetics to dishes.

Cookbooks I always return to
I think if I bought another cookbook my fiancé would kill me! Some of the top ones I continually find myself being reinsured by are cookbooks by: Moro, Thomas Keller, Claudia Roden, Damien Pignolet, Stephanie Alexandra, Jamie Olive, and Yotam Ottolenghi.

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