James Grant: 30 Under 30

Published on 15 June 2022

Photo: James Grant (photo: Clint Peloso).

James Grant traces his love of cooking back to his granddad’s kitchen: the crashing and banging and delicious Chinese aromas capturing him from a young age. 

Hi, my name is James Grant.

Right now I’m working at Cumulus Inc as a junior sous chef.

Before I started here, I worked at GG's Restaurant in East Melbourne. Before that I was cooking in New Zealand at a small Italian restaurant called Cosa Nostra as well as the Mission Estate winery restaurant in Hawke's Bay. 

All up, I’ve been cooking for eight strong years, and four of those here in Victoria.

And I’m passionate about sustainability and being able to utilise ingredients to their utmost potential. Working with the seasons and using food systems that better our environment.

I enjoy cooking things like outside of work, I like to make a lot of wontons, dumplings, and dim sum. I also have an unhealthy obsession with noodle soup and refining the perfect bone broth. 

At 30 Under 30 I’ll be cooking wild boar from Discovered Wildfoods, a product I'm very passionate about. I’d like to pair this with housemade ’nduja using some of the fat from the boar as well as some fermented chillis to bring some punch to the dish.  

The person I’m most looking forward to working with for 30 Under 30 isHugh Allen because the food at Vue looks absolutely unreal and they really seem to push the creative boundaries while maintaining the element of perfection. Definitely an inspiration for me.

My favourite thing to eat in Victoria right now is the King George whiting pasta dish at Osteria Ilaria. It’s a dish with such simplicity at face value but has an amazing depth of flavour and warmth to it that I find really comforting. (They also don't judge you when you order an additional main-sized portion.)

Finally, the big change I'd like to see in our food and drink scene in the next 30 years is sustainable food systems becoming common practice not only in restaurants but also in our day-to-day lives. I believe that it is our responsibility to ensure the next generations will be able to share the same connection to food that we have with it now.

 Catch James Grant at the 30 Under 30 Gala dinner on Thursday 28 July and at the 30 Under 30 dinner at Cutler & Co on Wednesday 3 August. Follow his further adventures at @james_dean_g_

You might also like