Meet the Chef | Ryan Carlson, Agnes

Ryan Carlson grew up on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Having gone through a skateboarding accident and breaking his foot, he was forced to relinquish his position as an aircraft maintenance engineer.

Following this, Carlson found himself re-imaging his younger interest in cooking.

While he maintained a steady hand on the pan, it was often just a hobby until he realised his endless potential after watching Chef's Table.

Carlson is at Agnes, an 87-seat woodfired Bistro set next to Fortitude Valley.

Using ironbark timber to cook, they are exclusive to the highest quality techniques with no deep fryers or ovens.

"I believe the consistently high standard of cooking we maintain for the number of people we serve each week using only two hearths and a wood oven sets us apart from almost every restaurant in Australia," said Carlson.

Relying on simplicity, seasonality, and constant refinement, Carlson enjoys finding an ingredient at the peak of its season and obtaining its purest characteristics.

Much of the inspiration for Carlson's meals comes from Fergus Henderson, who he worked with at St John in London.

Taking sous chef at St John in London was a personal highlight for Carlson, which provided him with many opportunities to work alongside talented chefs and one of the world's great restaurants.

Alongside Henderson is Carlson's mentor, Ben Williamson, another member of Carlson's repertoire who has pushed him to perform.

In his free time, Carlson has been getting into charcuterie and sausage-making.

Integrating his knowledge, Carlson utilised the trim of a pig leg to make an X.O sauce, which the sous chef and others enjoyed.

Outside the kitchen and cooking space, Carlson enjoys riding motorcycles in the hills and spending time with his wife and dog.

Moving forth, Carlson intends to open his restaurant and to be able to steer his own ship.

For those interested in the industry, Carlson recommends, "The best piece of advice is to find great mentors and act like a sponge, soaking up all of their knowledge along the way."