The Golfer’s Palate – Ian (duck hook) Curley

Chef Ian Curley at European

There’s much more to golf than improving your swing and perfecting putting. Yes, there’s always that primal instinct of sport – the challenge and exhilaration of competition, whether you’re watching or playing. Then there are those who simply enjoy a hit, inhaling the fresh air, soaking up the scenery, exercising the body and brain – socialising, eating… drinking. In absoluteness, the ultimate day of golf goes beyond the greens to which this column observes the neurological receptors, the gustatory and olfactory senses of both amateur and professional golfers all over this planet. We take a cross section of the golfer’s stomach and we probe the visual, the tactile, the fine motor controls of pleasure, going where no golfing publication has been before, right to the dopamine receptors and intestines of – the Golfer’s Palate.

Ian (duck hook) Curley, Amateur Handicap –13 but struggling

Club Member of the National Cape Schanck and the Heritage Yarra Valley

British born, long-time Australian resident and legendary Chef, Ian Curley is executive chef at Melbourne institution, The European,

Which Golf Club 19th Hole (bar, beer, wine list, food) has impressed you the most

I would have to say that Craig Gorton at the National does great food, myself and playing partner Andrew Blake do a chefs dinner at the national every year where we cook; Andrews was the second best ever they tell me.

Where is the most memorable meal (restaurant) you have had on a golf trip?

We had a a great trip to vegas recently and the resaturants there were special, I really liked Barnbougle Dunes Tasmania also, however we had a magnificent burger mid round on the TPC course in Vegas that was better than any burger I have ever tasted, before or since.

Where have you dined recently (restaurant) that impressed you?

Daniel at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, really good bistro food done well and equally very well executed.

Ian Curley

Do you have a favourite regular restaurant?

I tend to eat the European in Melbourne a lot for obvious reasons, but my all time favourite would be Café di Stasio, St Kilda, Melbourne,

Do you cook at home and is there a dish you have perfected?

I like to do a quick crab linguine, lots of chilli and garlic

Do you enjoy wine? What wine are you drinking at the moment?

Enjoy it? I love it! Really enjoying some white burgundy at the moment

Have you had a new wine discovery lately – new region, variety or style?

‘singlefile reserve chardonnay’ from Denmark, West Australia

What is the most enthralling golf course you have played on, in terms of dramatic scenery?

Like I say I loved Barnbougle but the national old course is still as stunning as ever.

National Old Course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr


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