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Question Time: Kevin Puglisevich - Bacchus restaurant wine manager

Summer Reading

Bacchus Restaurant wine director and Rydges South Bank’s food and beverage manager Kevin Puglisevich steps up to answer InQueensland Summer Reading’s 10 Questions.

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Did anything good come out of 2022? 

An increase in interstate travel – Covid brought extreme limitations to travel, which has opened our eyes to the beauty of our own country. International borders opening has not deterred this

What’s your favourite summer memory? 

Summer of 97. Diving for sea urchins with friends. Inevitably, we would spend hours pulling their spines from our feet after dumping each other to the bottom of a sea covered in these spiky black creatures!  We would use a knife to cut open the sea urchin, revealing the delicious roe. Freshly baked bread would be dipped into the sea urchin, the flavour almost identical to bread dipped into salted melted butter.  We would either sell the remainder of our treasure to the many seaside restaurants, which was my own first glimpse of fine dining, or else we would take them to my mother who would make a pasta for us all.

Sitting on those rocks, dipping our bread in such a delicacy, made us feel the richest boys alive.

Are you a summer or a winter person? 

Both. Each season has its own marvel. I am more about focusing on the gifts the season offer – might as well enjoy them while they last

How do you stay resilient during periods of change, like the year just gone? 

You focus on the solution rather than the problem. When one door closes another opens, you just need to walk through those open doors. Otherwise exercise and eat well, it’s the best way to keep your mind strong.

Who were your heroes of 2022? 

The community. I have never seen such community spirit in a country. Through every natural disaster the Australian community reveal their true self. I find it quite extraordinary.

What’s your secret ambition? 

To own my own line of wine bars not for success’ sake, but rather to be in a position to inspire others. This industry allows me to turn work into my passion. I would hate to imagine what it feels like to not want to go into work every day. Many industries can create efficient teams, though the most memorable managers build great human beings. Owning my own will give me the ability to place human development as a priority towards success.

What’s your favourite holiday spot? 

My life is quite busy, so when on holiday I like to shut out from the everyday hustle. It will have to be Bargara right outside Bundaberg. I went there during Covid because we were restricted to Queensland and will be there again in the summer break for the third time. The beach, the diving, the town – all you need is a tent and a soccer ball – its an escape with the family I look forward to.

What are you hoping for in 2023? 

I will always hope for the Michelin Guide to be introduced to Australia.

What have you been watching on television/streaming services lately? 

The Fifa World Cup – I am a massive football fan (it’s not soccer!). I lose a lot of sleep due to the timings of the game but I love it.

Any people or businesses to watch in 2023? 

La petite mort by Bent Road Winery. It is a winery based in Ballandean which I followed and connected with. I have seen them grow in both quality and size. Their methods are unorthodox respecting old Georgian winemaking traditions which I think injected personality into Queensland wine.

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