Australian Franchise News – 09-12-11
As part of the ongoing evolution of Eagle Boys Pizza’s menu to meet Australians’ cravings for taste and variety, Australia’s second largest pizza maker has appointed Stuart Gray as its New Product Development Manager and Executive Chef.
From royalty to cavalry, Stuart has seen more than his fair share of food from around the globe, and drawing from his experiences with the Queen, British Army and Neil Perry he will now make his first mark on the Eagle Boys’ menu.
Stuart was selected after an extensive search and will be responsible for delivering menu innovation focussing on real taste, real size and real value.
Eagle Boys Pizza CEO Todd Clayton said Stuart brought a wealth of experience to the role, together with a fresh approach and original menu ideas.
“Stuart will be in the kitchen developing new products, toppings and experimenting with daring ingredient combinations to provide the innovative, quality products Eagle Boys customers have come to expect,” he said.
“Stuart has an impressive background in the food industry both here and abroad, and we have confidence in his ability to develop innovative new products that complement Eagle Boys’ real taste, real size and real value menu.
“We’re delighted to have someone of Stuart’s energy and calibre on board the Eagle Boys product development team. As Eagle Boys continues to grow, we’re keen to retain and attract the right people, and Stuart will prove pivotal in continuing to satisfy our consumers’ varying tastes and preferences.”
Stuart said he had already begun experimenting with his culinary creations, drawing on a colourful career that included cooking for the British Army and the Queen herself.
“I joined the army at age 16 in 1991 as an apprentice chef, which took me all over the world from Germany to Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Island and Cyprus, as well as exercises in Canada, Kenya and Norway as part of the Cavalry, Parachute Regiment and Royal Signals,” he said.
“I’ve also cooked for Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and even helped make the wedding cake for the Duchess of Kent’s daughter’s wedding.”
Stuart said creating delicious food and meals was his passion. “My biggest and best career achievement to date has been watching people either put my product in their shopping basket, or walk out the door with it in their hands when I worked in Ireland, knowing they were going to enjoy something I’d invested so much passion and pride into,” he said.
“At Eagle Boys I’ve been able to challenge myself and apply everything I’ve learned throughout my career to date with a primary goal of satisfying Australians’ tastebuds with exciting new toppings and menu offerings.”
Stuart has more than 20 years’ experience in the food industry having also worked as Development Chef for the UK’s Henry Denny & Sons (Kerry Foods), and then Green Isle Foods (Northern Foods), after his stint in the Army.
He moved to Australia in 2008 for consultancy work, before becoming Development Chef for Qantas in Brisbane, where he worked with acclaimed celebrity chef Neil Perry’s team to transform restaurant recipes into meals that could be flown on board the Australian airline carrier.
He holds City & Guilds certificates in catering, Campden & Chorleywood pastry & development chef certificates, the Army School of Catering chef certificate, as well as a Diploma in Hotel & Catering, and Certificates in human nutrition, butchery, and hospitality.
Eagle Boys Pizza is Australia’s second largest pizza maker and is 100% Australian-owned. It operates more than 340 franchised stores throughout Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, the ACT, and the Northern Territory, employing more than 8,000 staff and making more than 18 million pizzas a year.
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