FAST FOOD: Former executive chef Jeremy Skinner feeds the high-vis army.
FAST FOOD: Former executive chef Jeremy Skinner feeds the high-vis army. Campbell Gellie

The executive chef feeding Paget's high-vis army

AT NINE o'clock in the morning the doors at Paget's Good Day Cafe start swinging as men in high-vis enjoy their first smoko break of the day.

But instead of the usual chiko rolls, hot chips and gravy and hot dogs, the food they are chowing down on is made by an executive chef of 16 years.

Within 20 minutes the cafe at the end of the cul de sac sold six chicken and Turkish bread toasted sandwiches, two home-made meat-filled pastries, two sausage rolls, two chocolate brownies and one potato scallop.

 

Jeremy's Turkish bread toasted sandwiches.
Jeremy's Turkish bread toasted sandwiches. Campbell Gellie

It's the crafty work of Jeremy Skinner using his experience with taste combinations and fresh food.

Yesterday, he and his team took over the kitchen at Hastings Deering, adding 600 workers to his client base.

"They approached us because they liked what we were doing with our healthy options like our wraps, quiches and sandwiches," Jeremy said.

 

Jeremy Skinner believes his healthy food options is what made Hastings Deering offer him the contract to feed their 600 workers.
Jeremy Skinner believes his healthy food options is what made Hastings Deering offer him the contract to feed their 600 workers. Campbell Gellie

In the four days they were open at Hastings last week he sold 120 chicken and Turkish bread toasted sandwiches, to add to the 120 he sold at the cafe.

It's a big shift back to the kitchen for Jeremy and his wife Megan, as just 12 months ago he was working around central Queensland for Ergon.

He had been an executive chef in Coffs Harbour, Ballina, Gladstone, Perth and the Pilbara before switching the apron for high-vis.

He did an apprenticeship as an electrical linesman and installed the high voltage transformers into the transformers at Hastings and the Oaks before being contracted to Ergon be a linesman all over central Queensland.

"We went everywhere and you're eating your lunch off eskys," he said.

"Then I got the opportunity to come back here and run this. It's great because I am doing it for myself and not for someone else. I ran restaurants for so many years watching the owners be successful and now I do it for myself."

And he is doing a lot of it himself. The father of three, wakes up at 3.20am and heads to the cafe on Catepillar Dr to prepare some meals.

Once he has finishes there he now moves to Hastings to prepare food for their workers and then back to his Paget cafe.

Finishing work at 3pm, Jeremy picks up his children from school, goes to the gym and is tucked up in bed at 7.30pm.

 

In past years the humble quiche's reputation has been questioned with many believing it wasn't made of strong enough stuff to feed a working man, but that's all changed at Paget's Good Day Cafe.
In past years the humble quiche's reputation has been questioned with many believing it wasn't made of strong enough stuff to feed a working man, but that's all changed at Paget's Good Day Cafe. Campbell Gellie

And then there is the growing catering business. Jeremy's fresh salads have landed him 75 functions with the North Queensland Health Department.



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