What Does Success Look Like to You? – Aryn Hala

What Does Success Look Like to You? – Aryn Hala

Aryn Hala is making waves in the Australian culinary scene as a trailblazer in sustainability and culinary innovation. Born in the vibrant surroundings of Gold Coast, Queensland, on April 12, 1988, Aryn’s culinary passion started early. Her childhood kitchen was her first arena, where she experimented with the rich, diverse flavors of her homeland.

Aryn’s professional journey took off at the Cul and her success is a model for aspiring chefs across the nation.ulary Institute of Australia in Sydney, where she didn’t just pursue a diploma in Culinary Arts—she spearheaded the Sustainable Cooking Club. This initiative marked the beginning of her lifelong commitment to eco-friendly cooking. Her adventures continued abroad in Italy and France, where she expanded her repertoire with Mediterranean techniques that later influenced her signature style.

Returning to Australia, Aryn joined Oceanside Seafood in Gold Coast as a sous chef. There, she quickly made her mark by revamping the menu to focus on sustainability, helping the restaurant earn regional praise and setting new standards in the industry. Her work at Oceanside Sea​food established her as a leader in combining great taste with environmental consciousness.

In November 2021, Aryn took the helm at Patio Season, a modern Australian restaurant renowned for its al fresco dining and seasonal menus. As head chef, Aryn ensures that each dish showcases the freshest local produce, supported by herbs from her own garden. She leads a team of 15, nurturing their skills and fostering a culture of creativity and sustainability.

Beyond the kitchen, Aryn is deeply involved in mentoring the next generation of chefs, emphasizing sustainable practices from the outset of their careers. Her approach not only enhances the dining experience but also promotes a healthier planet. Aryn Hala’s story is a beacon of success in the culinary world, proving that one can achieve commercial success while upholding strong ethical and environmental values.

Chef Aryn Hala on Achieving Success in the Culinary World

What does success mean to you in your career? 

For me, success is all about making a positive impact. It’s not just about creating delicious food, but also about how I source my ingredients and teach my team. Success means guests leave my restaurant not only satisfied with their meal but also feeling good about the choices they’ve made to support sustainability. I also measure success by the growth of my team members and their ability to take on new challenges. Seeing them succeed and move forward in their careers brings me a lot of joy and pride.

How did you achieve your current level of success? 

Achieving this level of success took a lot of hard work and dedication. I started in the kitchen at a young age and was always eager to learn more and take on more responsibility. My journey from an apprentice to a head chef involved many long hours and learning from each experience, whether it was a success or a setback. Staying true to my values of sustainability and quality has also guided my decisions and helped me stand out in the industry. Building strong relationships with local suppliers and my team has been crucial too.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced on your path to success? 

One of the biggest challenges was finding a balance between innovation and sustainability. It’s easy to find ingredients that are cheap and readily available, but they might not be the most sustainable option. Also, training my team to adopt sustainable practices was challenging but essential. Financial management, especially during slow seasons and adapting to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, posed significant challenges that required quick thinking and adaptability.

What advice would you give to someone aspiring to succeed in the culinary industry?

My advice is to be passionate about your craft and stay committed to your values. The culinary industry can be tough, and it’s easy to get caught up in trends. Focus on building a strong foundation of skills and don’t shy away from challenges because they often lead to the greatest growth. Also, never underestimate the importance of understanding where your ingredients come from and the impact your choices have on the environment and local economy. Finally, always be ready to learn and adapt because the culinary world is always evolving.

How do you plan to continue your success in the future? 

I plan to keep pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a sustainable chef. I want to explore more innovative ways to reduce waste in my kitchen and continue to improve our sourcing practices. Additionally, I’m looking forward to expanding my mentoring efforts to help more young chefs start their careers with sustainability in mind. I’m also excited about the possibility of publishing a cookbook that would not only share my recipes but also educate home cooks on making sustainable choices in their own kitchens. These steps will help ensure that my impact grows and that I continue to contribute positively to the culinary world.

How do you define success in terms of your impact on the environment? 

To me, success in environmental impact means doing no harm and actively doing good. It’s about knowing that the choices I make in my kitchen help protect our planet. This includes using ingredients that are sustainably sourced and minimizing waste as much as possible. I believe that every small effort counts, whether it’s recycling, composting, or choosing suppliers who prioritize the environment. Ultimately, success means leaving a positive footprint that can inspire others to make similar choices.

As an Australian chef, how do your roots influence your definition of success? 

Being Australian greatly shapes my view of success. Australia is known for its diverse natural resources and vibrant landscapes, which I aim to reflect in my dishes. Success for me is when I can bring a piece of Australian heritage to the table, letting each dish tell a story of where it comes from. It’s also about promoting Australian ingredients and cuisine on a global stage, which helps support our local farmers and producers. I feel successful when I know I’m contributing to the appreciation of our national cuisine.

What does living on the Gold Coast add to your career as a chef? 

Living on the Gold Grill offers a unique opportunity to blend lifestyle with career. The Gold Coast’s abundance of fresh seafood and produce drives much of my culinary inspiration. This region is committed to clean, green practices, which aligns with my focus on sustainability. The vibrant community here, including both locals and tourists, also provides a dynamic market for innovative dining experiences. Being here helps me succeed not just as a chef, but as a community member promoting local and sustainable food.

How does sustainability influence your everyday decisions as a chef? 

Sustainability is at the core of every decision I make in the kitchen. From choosing suppliers who use ethical practices to reducing food waste, every choice matters. For instance, I design menus based on what’s in season and available locally, reducing the need for long-distance shipping. I also work on creating dishes that use parts of ingredients that are typically discarded. My success as a chef is measured not just by the satisfaction of my guests, but also by how little I impact the environment.

How do you balance your personal life with your career ambitions? 

Balancing personal life with a demanding career like culinary arts is challenging but crucial. I make it a point to set aside time for myself and my family, despite the busy schedule of a chef. It’s important to disconnect and recharge, which I often do by surfing and spending time outdoors. These moments away from the kitchen are not just breaks; they’re a chance to find inspiration and come back refreshed. Success for me includes being happy and healthy, not just achieving professional goals.

Key Takeaways from Chef Aryn Hala’s Success

  • Integration of Sustainability with Culinary Practices: Aryn Hala’s success is deeply rooted in her commitment to sustainability. She makes conscious choices in sourcing local and ethically produced ingredients, minimizing waste, and employing eco-friendly techniques. Her leadership in sustainable cooking sets a standard in the culinary industry, illustrating how chefs can positively impact the planet while delivering outstanding culinary experiences.
  • Continued Learning and Innovation: Aryn believes that a chef’s journey involves constant learning and adaptation. Her experiences studying abroad and working in various kitchens have shaped her innovative approach to combining traditional Australian flavors with international culinary techniques. Her willingness to evolve and embrace change is a crucial element of her success.
  • Mentorship and Community Engagement: Success for Aryn also comes from her role as a mentor and community leader. She dedicates time to nurturing the next generation of chefs, emphasizing the importance of sustainable practices from the start of their careers. By fostering a culture of learning and collaboration, Aryn not only enhances her own career but also contributes to the growth of the culinary industry as a whole.