Ryan Squires
Citi Chef of the Year 2014

Executive chef at Esquire

What is your cultural background?

I was born and raised on the Gold Coast, Australia. However my mother’s heritage is Italian and my father is from Melbourne, Australia. 

How has Australia’s diverse culture impacted on the foods you cook?

I am very fond of the Japanese culture and its influence on their cuisine. I’m a keen fisherman and I believe the Japanese master the quality, provision and respect for fish very well. 

What role does food play in bringing cultures together?

If someone introduces something to someone and they are unfamiliar with it gets people talking to one another and asking questions about their backgrounds. I believe that food is very personal and is something everyone can relate to around the world. 

Why do you think it’s important to learn about and understand the different cultures of the people you work with?

It’s a wonderful thing to learn about others cultural background. The last time I counted the different nationalities in my workplace I think there were about 8 different ones. We have staff from the Himalayas, Sudan, Norway. Cultural diversity in the workplace is incredibly important for me as it keeps things alive and interesting. People from different cultural backgrounds as bring a lot of experience to the table. 

Why should Australians get involved with A Taste of Harmony?

I think Australians should get involved with A Taste of Harmony because people it allows people to get together and ask questions about one another cultures and share their experiences. A Taste of Harmony also offers a domino effect in helping to break down cultural barriers in the workplace.

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