Executive Chef Etienne Karner

With a career that has taken Etienne Karner on a journey around the world - France, the United States, the Caribbean, Ireland, India and Dubai, he now brings all kinds of cultures and cuisines to your plate at Park Hyatt Sydney. By working closely with suppliers to ensure the highest quality of ingredients, he is passionate about creating exceptional experiences with a menu that will be long remembered.

Executive Chef Etienne Karner, Park Hyatt Sydney

What was your inspiration behind the menu?

When I create a new dish or menu, it is really important for me to sit down and taste the whole dish, only then can I know if the balance is right or if the dish requires something else, many chefs nowadays don't do that. At the end of the day cooking is about creating a good tasting dish. Once you achieve that, you can continue working on it - add garnishes to make the dish visually appealing or add more flavor or other components. For our wedding menus we usually try out the dishes in our main restaurant to see if they are popular and work. That way we ensure that we deliver dishes with the highest quality

What are the most popular dishes that you create for weddings?

For weddings seafood dishes are always more popular than others. Many couples choose our snow crab salad with avocado & finger lime or our kingfish with yuzu and compressed melon and choose a meat course as the main course. Our beef tenderloin with anna potato and truffle jus or the roasted Muscovy duck breast with artichokes and black garlic are always a winner. For the dessert our pastry chef has created a signature dish, the dome surprise with hot chocolate sauce and berry cremeux, it is to die for and a hit with the guests.

In your opinion, what is the most important dish of the day?

I believe every dish is important, especially for weddings. It starts with canapes and live stations and ends with a wedding cake. The first impression and the last count the most. We are here to create these experiences and make sure that everyone feels good. In addition to the venue and entertainment the menu will be long remembered.

Executive Chef Etienne Karner , Park Hyatt Sydney

Do you have any menu related advice for brides and grooms?

I honestly believe in menu tastings and I think we do them very well here at Park Hyatt Sydney. You have to take time out and make sure the dishes are to your liking and work together. I or the events chef will meet the guests and introduce the dishes, this is a great opportunity to ask questions or discuss changes. Seeing chefs coming out can be intimidating but trust me we want to make sure that you feel satisfied with your choices and are happy on the most important day of your life.

Do you cater to every dietary requirement?

Catering for special diets is essential and we are here to make it happen. Especially for weddings we tell the couples to relax and not to worry. They should not base their menu selection on someone’s dietaries.  They should leave it in our hands to ensure that everyone is happy.

What style of dining and current trends do you like to see at weddings? 

We did come up with a grazing table for a media event, this is something I can see becoming popular for weddings. Sitting together and eating like a family could work perfectly for smaller weddings or even a shared style menu throughout.

I would like to try a brunch set up for a wedding with seafood stations, a terrace barbeque and chocolate fountain. Having worked in Dubai before I have seen some of the most amazing brunches, done well this can be very classy and different from your usual weddings.

Another idea would be to incorporate our local suppliers. Many of them have offered to handle live stations if we use their products. Having them passionately sharing their stories could create a talking point for every wedding.

Tell us a little about your experience and why you’ve chosen to work at Hyatt? 

I began my career in Germany and after a 3 year apprenticeship I went searching for new experiences which took me on a journey  around the world - France, the United States, the Caribbean, Ireland, India and Dubai. Throughout my travels, I was able to explore new cultures and cuisines and i learnt different styles and techniques of cooking.

I joined Hyatt in 2010 for the opening of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Goa - It was an amazing experience! Hyatt’s food philosophy struck the right chord for me; I was able to identify myself with the food concepts in all the Hyatt hotels I worked for thereafter  

I believe Hyatt is a great hotel chain and meeting so many like-minded people within the company makes it feel like an extended family.

After I left Goa I worked another 4 years at the Park Hyatt in Dubai before joining the iconic park Hyatt Sydney.

Here I work with a team of great chefs who are as passionate about food and quality as I am; they make sure consistency is maintained in order to be at par with the restaurant scene in Sydney. Having such a beautiful venue with an amazing view makes you want to give your best always. It’s the cherry on the cake for me!