July 12, 2023

Five years working at the award-winning restaurant, Nomad, in Sydney was the perfect training ground for chef Sam McCallum. The chef recently settled into his new role as head chef of waterfront dining room, St Siandra, in Sydney’s Mosman and he acknowledges his time at Nomad for many things – including his introduction to Mount Zero Olives.


Sam McCallum at St Siandria.
Sam McCallum at St Siandria.

“I first came across Mount Zero while I was working at Nomad," Sam says. "A supplier brought some in to taste, who knew we were working with another producer, but it impressed me. I loved the story of the brand, and the quality of the products was exceptional."

Fast forward a few years, and Sam kept us in mind when he started to lead the kitchen at St Siandra. 

“Putting together a menu like ours, that has a lot of Mediterranean techniques, it’s really important to think about where my olive oil comes from. Cooking this style of food has to start with great olive oil.” 

Sam got Mount Zero in the kitchen and played with many oils from our range. 

He’s currently using four of our extra virgin olive oils: the Lemon Pressed EVOO for dressings, and our Smoked EVOO for their flatbread. “We double smoke it,” he adds, “and we confit garlic in it."

Our Frantoio EVOO is Sam’s kitchen finishing oil, “I like its robust style, it’s a great finishing oil in our charcoal grill section and works so well on proteins as well as mushrooms with a fermented tomato and pepper sauce,” Sam tells us. 

He also has our Arbequina EVOO as the workhorse of the kitchen. “I had it drummed into me at Nomad that if we’re cooking good Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food, good olive oil will make it even better,” he says. 

Sam has chosen to share a recipe to celebrate both Mount Zero extra virgin olive oils and fresh fish. 

“The tuna crudo is a popular dish and a beautiful way to highlight Mount Zero's EVOOs. We get the best available tuna, slice it thin and roll it out onto a clear sheet. Then, we make a Frantoio and smoked garlic oil and add good anchovies.”

“It also goes really well with roasted veg if you’re not a fish eater.” 

St Siandria's Tuna Crudo
St Siandria's Tuna Crudo

Sam is relishing his new role, right on the water. “I grew up in Devonport, New Zealand, around the water and started out as a chef by the water,” he says. 

St Siandra opened in March 2023. “we’ve had a chance to fine-tune through the cooler months and are looking forward to an amazing summer!” 

the fast five 

1. If you weren't in hospo what would you be doing?    

Another trade, or social work of some kind. 

2. Last place you dined out? 

Gray & Gray, Northcote when I was recently in Melbourne. 

3. What's your favourite Sydney restaurant? 

I have two. When I want high-end, Ester in Chippendale, for something more relaxed, The Eight is a great yum cha restaurant in Haymarket. 

4. Favourite season/s of the year for produce? 


5. Do you have any special projects scheduled for this year or beyond? 

One thing we are currently working on is on-board catering for the summer. We’d like to get it launched for summer for people to take our offering to their boat or they come past and pick it up

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