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Meet our staff - Dennis Tierney

05-Jan-2017

Dennis Tierney at Pinetrees Lodge on Lord Howe IslandDennis Tierney is the newest addition to the Pinetrees kitchen, and if the start of this season is anything to go by, we’re in for some big things.

If you’ve stayed with us in the past few months, you’ll most likely be able to recognise the man by his desserts. Dennis has a penchant for theatrics. If molten chocolate sauce has been generously poured on your dessert at the table, or your coconut broth has begun to fizz and crackle before your eyes, you’ve had an encounter with Dennis.

Born in rural NSW, Dennis’ introduction to the world and its food came at the age of 4, when his parents decided to sell his family home and travel throughout Asia and Europe. This early adventure set him up for a lifetime of more adventure, and gave him a taste for spice, flavour, and the finer things that European and Asian cuisine have to offer.

Dennis remembers making the decision to leave school and pursue cooking after reaching the national finals in a school-based cooking competition. After placing first in his region and then first in NSW, the country boy from Grafton recalls painting his farm boots black and borrowing a too-small uniform to compete in the national titles. Dennis finished up fourth in the competition, and on the way home, his mum told him he could leave school as long as he could find a job.

One short week later, Dennis started his apprenticeship at two-hatted restaurant, Fins, in Byron Bay. Dennis forged his skills with some of Australia’s best chefs including Matt Upson, Neil Perry, Tetsuya Wakadu and Pinetrees’ Food and Wine Week extraordinaire Steven Snow.

Dennis describes his 3 great passions as travel, cooking and photography. Fortunately for us, he combines aspects of all these passions when he works. On any given night you’ll have a menu boasting mouth-watering Asian-fusion dishes, conceived of and cooked by Dennis and the team, with a full-fledged photo shoot happening throughout the middle of service. The results are great food, great photos, satisfied diners and the occasional flash-blinded waiter.

When Dennis isn’t in the kitchen you’ll find him casually going for an 8km kayak around the Admiralty Islands, or perhaps foraging around the island for some mushrooms, salt bush or something exotic yet local to finish off your nightly meal.

It's Dennis’s last 9 years on Lord Howe that have given him his alias of ‘The Stranded Chef.’ Dennis is an active food writer and blogger, keeping his online following both updated and envious with his recipes and adventures here on the island. ‘The Stranded Chef’ provides a unique insight into working with some of the freshest and highest quality ingredients that can be found here on Lord Howe, contrasted with some of the challenges that our geographic location can present.

‘The Stranded Chef’ has compiled his best recipes, stories and photographs over the last 5 years into his first cookbook, planned for release later this year.

Meet our staff - Lindy Cameron.

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