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Saturday 13 November 2021

Meet a chef with a whole world of experience


In his 22 years as a chef, Erwin Joven has worked across award-winning hotels and ultra-luxury resorts in seven different countries and multiple continents.

From the Philippines to the US, the West Indies to the Fiji, Joven has a CV that is quite incredible in its depth.

Now in charge of the kitchen brigade at the Mayfair Hotel in Adelaide, executive chef Joven lived in Sydney as a child. 

He abandoned a business degree in the Philippines to begin his career as a commis chef at the Mandarin Oriental in Manila before spending several years in a variety of kitchen roles in California, based in San Diego. 

He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America-Greystone.  

Joven was executive sous chef at Amanyara, part of the renowned Aman group, in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and at Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands before being appointed executive chef at The Cotton House on Mustique in St Vincent and the Grenadines, also in the Caribbean. 

He did two stints as executive chef on Vomo Island in Fiji before earning a similar role at world-famous Amanpulo in the Philippines. 

He was appointed director of kitchens for the pre-opening and opening of the Intercontinental Hayman Island before a brief stint teaching saw him drawn back to the heat of the kitchen. 

"I love simple flavours and using fresh, local produce," he says. "This is my seventh country as a chef and I've learned something from each one.

"I took a break after Hayman Island, did some teaching but then I realised that  hotel kitchen was where I wanted to be, so I was lucky enough to able to pick up where I has left off. The hotel space is certainly where I feel most comfortable.

"I went around Adelaide and went to the markets and I was blown away by the produce. I knew there was a strong food and wine scene here and people talk about wine like they do in the Napa Valley, where I was lucky enough to live and work. 

"Curating and looking for artisan food producers is one of my favourite things; sniffing out people who are doing great things with food.

"I hope the menu will reflect the best of South Australia - and I've certainly been impressed by the seafood I have tried, and by some of the local cheeses."

The chef describes his style as "eclectic", so diners can expect anything from beef Wellington, a long-time Mayflower Restaurant favourite, to French-driven classic dishes and lighter, fresher meals like Joven worked with in California.

"Around the world there is a big push on wellness, so various dietary requirements will be catered for. I try to add some Asian and Caribbean influences, as well." 

Seasonal and fun items are very much on the menu down the road in what is a very competitive Adelaide hotel dining space. Keep your eyes out, too, for a new high tea offering. 







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