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Chris and Alex Norman have been appointed to lead the award-winning The Paddock restaurant at Beechmont Estate in Queensland’s Scenic Rim.

Chris has been appointed Executive Chef and Alex will be Executive Sous & Pastry Chef.

“The region is incredibly diverse in its offering and there is an abundance of phenomenal produce to choose from,” said Chris, who hails from Scotland and boasts a career established in Michelin-starred restaurants and luxury hotels in the UK.

His refined approach emphasises classic flavour combinations using modern techniques and he has a passion for ethically sustainable produce, which aligns perfectly with The Paddock’s commitment to the farm-to-plate ethos.

Alex similarly honed her skills in Michelin-starred establishments and brings a meticulous touch to pastry and desserts.

Her journey from a scholarship with London’s Royal Academy of Culinary Arts to roles at luxury hotels and restaurants has allowed her to develop a flair for innovative desserts.

Ross Penegar, CEO of the Northern Escape Collection, said the appointments were the latest example of his organisation’s commitment to culinary excellence at its luxury lodges spread throughout Queensland.

“This marks the next big step for Beechmont Estate, one that will build upon the luxury retreat’s established reputation for sophisticated paddock-to-plate gastronomy,” he said.

“Chris and Alex are dedicated to showcasing the region’s finest ingredients, sourced sustainably from our on-site kitchen garden and the surrounding area.

“They emphasise a true farm-to-plate experience through a thoughtful use of native ingredients and local producers delivering directly to the kitchen door.”

Featured dishes include farm asparagus with whipped tofu, sweet water cray with brandade croquette, dry aged wagyu rump served with beetroot, and Pike’s Creek black diamond plum with pistachio frangipane and finger lime leaf ice cream.

Chris and Alex are introducing a fresh calendar of events in 2024, including guest chef collaborations, winemaker weekends and high teas.

Enjoy one of Chris’s signature recipes below


TOMMERUP’S FARM PORK. Picture courtesy Carin Garland.


 METHOD (serves four):

  1. Prepare the pork loin or your preferred prime cut by trimming any excess fat, reserve for later and bring up to room temperature before cooking.
  2. For the croquette, brine the pork shoulder overnight (optional) before slowly braising covered in pork stock in an oven at 150c for approx. 3 hours until tender. Pull the meat from the bone and reserve.
  3. Make chicken mousse by blitzing chicken breast in a food processor until smooth and adding cream slowly. Pass through a drum sieve.
  4. Combine pork shoulder and chicken mousse, add caramelised onions, sage and season with salt and pepper. Roll into balls 35g in weight and chill.
  5. Once chilled, coat balls in flour, egg and panko breadcrumbs. Refrigerate.
  6. For the confit pork belly, coat pork lightly with salt and aromates, allow to cure for 6- 12hours. Once cured, wash off the salt and vacuum. Cook sous vide at 85C for 8 hours. Cool and cut into 50g portions.
  7. To start the cabbage, sweat red onions off in a pan with salt and pepper. Once onions are softened through, increase the heat and add red cabbage and aromates. Cook the cage down to softened, add red wine and redcurrant jelly and reduce to completely cooked through and all moisture is evaporated. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  8. Make the apple compote by combining all ingredients in a pan and bringing to a simmer. Cover with a cartouche and allow the apples to stew down to a compote consistency.
  9. Roast cauliflowers in a pan with butter until caramelised, add cream and cook through, blitz in blender to smooth puree.
  10. To serve: Season and roast pork loin over the fire until cooked medium- well. Roast pork belly in oven at 200c for 15-20 minutes until skin is crispy, deep fry pork shoulder croquette. Heat cabbage in a pan.

Quenelle apple compote onto plate and finish with crispy sage. Pipe dots of caramelised cauliflower puree and place red cabbage off centre. Place pork loin on top of the cabbage, belly and croquette to the side.

Finish with pork jus over the loin and a small quenelle of grain mustard.



500g Pork loin or preferred prime cut


For the croquette:

120g pork shoulder

500g pork stock

50g chicken breast

50g pure cream

50g caramelised onion

1 clove garlic

1 each egg

50g flour

50g Panko breadcrumbs

¼ bunch sage leaves


For the confit belly:

300g pork belly

30g rock salt

2 each bay leaf

1tsp peppercorns

1 each lemon zest


For the braised red cabbage:

400g red cabbage

100g red onion

75ml red wine

½ orange zest

1 bay leaf

1 thyme sprig

50g redcurrant jelly


For the apple compote:

100g Granny Smith apple

25g sugar

25ml cider

2g citric acid


For the cauliflower puree:

200g cauliflower

50g butter

50g pure cream

To serve:

12 leaves crispy sage

4tbsp pork jus

2tsp Grain mustard