Mark Axisa – Executive Chef at Catalina Rose Bay
Catalina has been a Sydney icon for the past 21 years with Michael and Judy McMahon at the helm. With their children James and Kate continuing in the family tradition.
“WE ARE SO PROUD OF OUR DEDICATED AND TALENTED TEAM AT CATALINA.
WE COULDN’T BE MORE GRATEFUL FOR THEIR HARD WORK AND COMMITMENT
IN DELIVERING WHAT WE BELIEVE TO BE, THE BEST DINING EXPERIENCE IN SYDNEY.”
– MICHAEL, JUDY, JAMES AND KATE MCMAHON
Catalina is a must dining experience. The food and staff are the soul of Catalina.
Meet Mark Axisa
Completing his cookery apprenticeship at Catalina, Mark has worked his way through all areas in the Catalina kitchen over the past 12 years.
In November 2015 Mark accepted the position of Executive Chef.
Mark’s long association with and experience at Catalina ensures continuity and his passion is reflected in some exciting new dishes alongside the Catalina favourites.
Catalina is loved by many Sydney-siders. What makes Sydney-siders flock to Rose Bay?
I think it comes down to exceptional food and service, which can be enjoyed overlooking the incredible waters of Rose Bay.
November 2015 you became an Executive chef at Catalina but you have worked over a decade there and you have worked your way through all areas of their kitchen. How has Catalina and yourself grown over the years?
Both the restaurant and I have changed since I started working their 15 years ago. Catalina’s interiors are slightly different, and our clientele has also changed (we now attract a wider demographic of people). My cooking has changed as-well, my dishes have become more intricate and polished.
What is your favourite dish to cook at home when you just want comfort food?
My favourite dish to cook at home when I just want comfort food is a Prosciutto, Comte Cheese and Tomato Toastie. It’s a favourite for my daughter Ivy as well.
Who has been your biggest mentor?
My biggest mentor would be Michael McMahon who is the co-owner of Catalina Rose Bay. Since day one Michael has always pushed me to do my absolute best and has helped me become the chef that I am today.
Favourite dish on the new spring menu at Catalina?
I can’t narrow it down to one dish. However, I love the House Made Parsley Spaghettini with Mooloolaba King Prawns. This is one of those dishes that everybody loves to eat. It’s really tasty, fresh and hits the spot.
A dessert favourite of mine is our NEW Limited-Edition Catalina & Guerlain Dessert. This is a Pomegranate and Campari Panna Cotta with Crisp Strawberry Pearls, Tapioca and White Peach Sorbet.
What inspires you when you’re creating a new dish or menu?
My inspiration when creating a new dish or menu comes from the seasons. I love creating the winter menu every year as we introduce more comfort food onto the menu, which consists of more meats and sauces.
Are you a chef that loves everything or do you secretly hate something and won’t eat it? You can tell us, we will keep your secret safe!
I love everything!
How did you get into the hospitality industry? What made you want to be a chef?
Growing up I always loved to cook and even got a job at 15 working as a Chef at KFC. One day when I was in the kitchen cooking with my mum, she asked me what I wanted to do, and I knew that I wanted to be a chef straight away. Once I finished Year 10 I got an apprenticeship and the rest is history!
Do you have any advice for young chefs wanting to break it into the industry?
Stick to an apprenticeship. It’s the best way to learn.
Tea or coffee man? How do you like it?
If your keen to taste some of Mark’s fine delights make a booking at Catalina Rose Bay.
Catalina Rose Bay never disappoints with stunning bay views, elegant interiors and 5-star service.
One of my favourite restaurants in Sydney.